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Pretty & Polished May Flowers from MeiMei Signatures

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Hi everyone! I have a gorgeous polish to share with you today as well as an account of my customer experience with the customer service support for the website it was purchased from. Pretty & Polished May Flowers is the first thermal polish I’ve used and I am totally in love with it! I have quite a few photos of this polish for you, so lets dive right into them. If my cuticles look wet in some of the photos, that’s because they are. I used cold water between photos to show off the thermal changes. I dried them as well as I could between photos, but the thermal changes happen so quickly, it was hard to do a thorough job ;)

Pretty & Polished May Flowers Warm State

Pretty & Polished May Flowers Warm State

Pretty & Polished May Flowers Cold State

Pretty & Polished May Flowers Cold State

Pretty & Polished May Flowers Warm and Cold State side by side

Pretty & Polished May Flowers Warm and Cold side by side

Pretty & Polished May Flowers In Transition

Pretty & Polished May Flowers In Transition

I started off with my usual Tip Top base coat to protect my natural nails. Yup. Still nubbins. I painted 3 coats of Pretty & Polished May Flowers onto all of my nails. May Flowers is a thermal crelly with purple, fuschia, green and light pink glitters. There are also larger light pink flower glitters in the bottle. May Flowers is a very light minty green colour when warm and a bright green when cold. It looks like a rocking gradient while in transition. I often saw it in that phase on my nails, so it doesn’t necessarily require any manipulation from your end to get it to look that way. I felt I needed 3 coats to even things out. The base is quite opaque so even if you get a lot of glitter out on the first coat, you likely won’t see them by the time you’re done. In between coats I closed the bottle and rolled it between the palms of my hands while the bottle was upside down and I had absolutely no trouble getting the flowers out of the bottle when I did this. I recently figured out that glitters like to settle inside the brush. Gee, it only too me about 2 years. If I feel now that I am not getting enough glitter onto the nail I put extra pressure on the brush (not too hard) and the glitters free themselves from the brush and apply onto the nail with ease.

This polish has a bit of history and I would like to tell you about it. Last year a friend of mine in Belgium decided to gift me some polish and he ordered me 3 polishes from MeiMei Signatures. My order shipped very quickly, but unfortunately our stupid post office decided it was a good time to go on a THREE MONTH strike, which crippled the postal service in our country. There was a major backlog at our international receiving branch and I ended up waiting four whole months to get my package. I was SO happy to finally receive it and that it was safe and intact. I worried that packages may have gone missing or been vandalized. I used the 3 polishes I received here, here and here. SO GORGEOUS! Pretty & Polished My Friend Dahlia is a thermal polish. I was very excited to try it, but when I put my nails into cold water nothing happened. I tried warm water, still nothing. It was the first thermal I had ever tried, so I thought I may be doing something wrong. I wrote to the customer service address on the site and MeiMei herself responded to me. She explained that thermal pigments are very unstable and also do not last very long. After doing some research I discovered that thermal polishes have a short shelf life. After a while they lose their colour changing properties. If the polishes are subjected to a lot of extreme temperature fluctuations or are shaken around way too much they can also lose their ability to change colour. I have no idea what kind of environment the polishes were subjected to and it is completely possible that the polishes were shaken or stored in a very hot warehouse. Nobody will ever know. MeiMei was absolutely awesome though and offered to replace the polish for me and said that I could choose a different one if I wanted. She asked if I would mind paying shipping and I was completely okay with that since none of this was her fault in any way. She further impressed me by offering to pay half of the shipping. MeiMei even gave me a heads up that she was putting up new polishes onto the site in 2 weeks and gave me the option of waiting so I could possibly choose a new release if I wanted. What? Great customer service? Does this even happen anymore? A day or so after I chose this polish, it was shipped!

This time I waited a month and a half for the polish to arrive, which is probably regular shipping time from Singapore to South Africa. As you can see above, the thermal is in perfect working condition. I am so very chuffed with the quality of the polishes and service I received from MeiMei. I would recommend her store to anyone! She has a huge selection of polishes (and other items) and if you have trouble getting indies where you live, this is definitely a viable option as she ships all over the world.

What did you think of this polish? Have you ever purchased anything from MeiMei Signatures? Let me know in the comments below :)

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Tip Top Milky Way

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Hi everyone! The nails I’m going to show you today might seem familiar, I created a similar look for my March Nail Anarchy challenge. I actually did this mani before that one and used completely different polishes. I didn’t actually love this one when I did it, but the challenge nails were awesome in my books. I considered this a bit of a fail and was going back and forth about posting it. I guess this post means I decided to put them up after all. LOL. This is also the last post with an outdated nail shape/length. Let me show you what this mani looked like.

Tip Top Milky Way and Cairuo Blue

I started off with my usual Tip Top base coat to protect my natural nails. On my index and middle nails I painted 2 coats of Tip Top Milky Way. Milky Way is a gorgeous white crelly with small blue, green, red and white hexes. It also has larger white and silver holographic hexes. You can spot one at the tip of my middle nail. On my ring and pinkie I painted 2 coats of the Cairuo polish pictured (gift). There is no other name on the bottle. On my ring nail I used the right hand image on PUEEN 48 and essence white stampy polish to stamp. I sealed it all in with a coat of Dashing Diva Top seal.

So many people that saw this mani didn’t like it. My husband said there was “too much going on”, but his opinion doesn’t carry much weight when it comes to my nails. My real life nail friend said she “doesn’t get it” and she LOVES blue. So I got really mixed reviews from a lot of other different people and I think this contributed to my hesitance to even post them. Sometimes though, you just gotta do YOU.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this mani in the comments!

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A Touch Of Gold

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Hi everyone! I have a look to share with you today that I wore to an event I was invited to. The dress code and theme for the event, which was a product launch, was ‘A touch of gold’. It made absolute sense to me to adorn my nails with gold since it played nicely on the phrase…gold, fingers, touch…see? The polish I used for this look is also aptly named Gold Finger. Let me show you what I came up with.

Maskcara Gold Finger, Hop Scotch with stamping

I started off with my regular Tip Top base coat to protect my natural nails. I painted 2 coats of Maskscara Gold Finger on all of my nails. Gold Finger is an amazing gold foil polish and I simply love it. On my index and pinkie nails I sponged on Foschini for Beauty Nails Hop Scotch (gift). Hop Scotch has a mix of different sized gold and black hex glitters as well as some black bar glitter suspended in a clear base. The base is quite thick and I sponged it on since blobbing and spreading it didn’t yield enough black glitter for me. On my middle and ring nails I stamped using Sinful Colors Black on Black and the left hand image on PUEEN 27 to stamp the hanging bows onto my nails. I sealed it all in with a coat of Dashing Diva Top Seal.

I really loved how these turned out. I also felt they really fitted the theme of the event very well. What do you think of this look? Let me know in the comments below :)

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OV Optics is on a mission!

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Hi everyone! I have an interesting post for you today. You’ll remember that I attended the CT Mom Blog Meet a while ago. One of the sponsors of the Johannesburg event wanted to include the Cape Town Bloggers and reached out to me via e-mail. Zulé offered me a pair of sunglasses for my son and asked if we could meet up when she came down to Cape Town with Tanya (who happens to be a qualified optometrist). This was far from just a product drop off. These two ladies offered the ultimate personal touch. They came to see me at work to deliver a pair of sunglasses for Elijah and also chat to me about their vision. In the time that they were here I learned so much about eye care!

We all know how important it is to protect our skin from the harmful UVA/UVB rays of the sun, but we often don’t think of protecting their eyes. A hat might shade their eyes, but that isn’t quite the same as cutting out the UV rays. I don’t know about yours, but my kids don’t love wearing hats or anything on their heads for that matter. It isn’t something I have really thought about to be honest. My kids do have sunglasses, but they have regular plastic lenses. I don’t even know if they have UV protection. Elijah’s pair was bought by my cousin as a fashion statement and of course Gabby had to have a pink pair too. I was quite shocked when Zulé asked me if I knew that up to 80% of our total UV exposure takes place before we turn 18. I had no idea! When thinking about it for a second, it made perfect sense. Kids are always outside playing, during breaks at school, swimming at home or at a friend’s house and soaking up the sun as teens. As an adult I spend a lot of my time indoors, doing housework or working in an office. They made a cool infographic explaining how UV rays can damage your eyes. Check it out (click to enlarge):

Infographic - How UV Damages Eyes

See that statistic over there? Only 7% of people took eye health into consideration when thinking of UV exposure. That is a very low number! Zulé and Tanya are working tirelessly to raise awareness and to get the word out to people about how harmful the sun can be. Personally I have very weak eyes. Not only is it costly for me to wear contact lenses and keep replacing spectacles and contacts, but it is an inconvenience. If I can do anything to help keep my kids from having impaired vision, you can sign me up! Enter O-V Optics. There are two different styles to choose from. Both come in black and the lenses are made from shatterproof and impact resistant polycarbonate. There are 2 sizes – Small, suitable from ages 4 – 9 and medium for ages 7 – 12. These are the 2 styles available:

O-V Optics Sport

Sport

O-V Optics Swag

Swag

Did I mention that these glasses are practically indestructible? They can bend any which way and the lenses are designed to pop out so if they do somehow come loose from the frame you can pop them back in again (this hasn’t happened to us though!). I was told that it probably wasn’t the best idea to show your child how flexible the frame is. To quote: ‘It’s a feature, not a challenge!’ LOL. Want to see just how flexible they are? See the short video below:

How cool was that?! I know Gabby has a tendency to bend the ears of glasses outwards and she has destroyed her pink Barbie glasses by doing so. She sometimes steals Elijah’s glasses from him to wear herself and now I don’t have to worry about her breaking them when she does this. I have the Sport style glasses and Elijah has decided he is not fond of the fit. This shape wraps around your child’s face. Elijah says it makes his “eyebrows uncomfortable”. I think the Swag would have been a better choice for him. Gabby, however, loves the fit of the Sport even though they are still a little too big for her (she is only 2) and wears them happily.

Another initiative Zulé and Tanya were telling me about was Sunglasses at School. I mentioned before that children are outside every day during break times, not to mention sports days or after school sports activities. What OV-Optics would love to see is that sunglasses become part of school uniforms and be worn freely at school. That is part of the reason there are only 2 styles and both are black. Yes, sunglasses are cool, but this is not about the cool factor. I’m really hoping schools will adopt this. I also forgot to mention that prescription lenses can be fitted into the Swag frames, so your little one could still wear these even if they already wear prescription glasses.

It literally took me WEEKS to get my kids to stand still and pose for a photo wearing the glasses, but I finally managed it.

OV Optics Sunglasses

Too cool for photos…this is the best I could get O.o

OV Optics Sunglasses

Can you tell Easter fever is running high?

If you would like to buy a pair of glasses for you kiddo, check out the shop on the OV Optics site. Simply click here!

Stay Connected with The O-V Team!I would really love to hear what you think of these. Do your kids wear sunglasses with proper UV protection?

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Guest Post from Pish.Posh.Polish!

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Hi everyone! I have a special post for you today! I have Karen from Pish.Posh.Polish over to do a guest post! I haven’t had a guest post on here in FOREVER and I’ve done one for her as well. So when you’re done reading here, you can check out my post for her too :)

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Hey y’all!

I’m Karen, author of Pish.Posh.Polish: All Polish, All The Time. This is my first time guest posting on anyone’s blog and I am so nervous! Thank you, acidicice for having me here, I hope that I can do this guest posting thing justice. :D

acidicice and I brainstormed about what we would do for our guest posts and settled on using the lead lighting technique. She had been wanting to try it and I hadn’t done it in quite some time so it was perfect for both of us! Here’s what I came up with:
Stamping and lead lighting over a white base
If you’ve never heard of lead lighting or tried it, basically its like coloring in a coloring book only you don’t have to worry about staying in the lines because you color over the lines you stamp. That’s my kind of coloring! Typically, you would start with a white base, stamp over it with a dark color, usually black, and then use jelly or super sheer polishes to “color in” your image. You can use a dotting tool or a small detail brush to apply the color. Let me show you the polishes and plate I used to create this look:
Left to right: QTica Natural Nail Growth Stimulator, Orly White Tips, Shinespark Polish Markie, Dancing Dolphins, Max Splash, Ballerina Bunny, Seche Clear, KBShimmer Clearly On Top. Front: UberChic Beauty plate 1-02
I started with my QTica Natural Nail Growth Stimulator as my base coat. Once I had that on all of my nails, I went back with one coat of Orly White Tips as my base color. I didn’t worry about it being a perfectly even application – it was a little streaky as white tends to be with one coat but it doesn’t matter too much because it gets covered with the jellies.
Once my white base was dry (about 10 minutes), I used Funky Fingers Dark Knight as my stamping color. I love using this polish because its super cheap (3/$5 at Five Below) and very opaque. This was an especially exciting mani for me because it was my first time using my UberChic Beauty plates that I just purchased. I have heard so many good things about these plates and everything that I’ve read is true – these plates are BOMB. Here, let me show you a close up of the image I used from plate 1-02:
UberChic Beauty plate 1-02
Anywayyyyy, once my stamping had a chance to dry for a few minutes, I started in on my coloring. Using my detail brush, I started with the yellow – Markie by Shinespark Polish. Its already a jelly polish but I wanted this to be super sheer, so I used Seche Clear to thin it out even more. I applied it in a tiny half circle close to the side of my finger because I wanted this to look like a flower when I was finished. I repeated those same steps with each color:  pink – Ballerina Bunny, purple – Max Splash, and blue – Dancing Dolphins until I reached the other side of my finger. When I’d finished, the colors each had very blunt lines between them and I wanted a gradient effect so I had to go back and mix some colors together and go over the lines. Once I was happy with the blending of the colors, I top coated with KBShimmer Clearly On Top to seal everything in, help it dry, and make it super shiny.
Here’s a macro to show how it turned out. There was a little smearing of my stamped image because I went over that spot too hard with the brush. You have to be a little delicate so as to NOT smudge like I did:
Overall, I was very pleased with how this mani turned out, I haven’t ever done a full lead lighting mani. I am over the moon for these new plates! Here’s another look at the finished result:

Thank you so much for reading and another huge THANK YOU! to acidicice for having me. What do you think of this look? Have you ever tried the lead lighting technique?

If you’d like to check out more nail art, polish swatches, and reviews, you can find me on my BLOG or on INSTAGRAM.

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Wow! I don’t know about you guys, but I love this mani! Thanks so much for coming over to invade my blog for a day, Karen. I really love what you’ve done and I really hope you like what I’ve done for her too! You can head over to Karen’s blog to see my post. Just click here :)

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Sombunny Loves You

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Hi everyone! I’m squeezing in another Easter look for you today. I suppose this can be my official Easter mani, even though I won’t technically be wearing it over the Easter weekend. I’ll be working both the Friday and the Monday of the long weekend, but I’m not going to complain about extra income at this stage of the game. It’s only half day and even though it is causing a bit of stress with regards to someone watching the kids if both my husband and I work…we’ll push through. You came here to see nails, didn’t you? Let’s get to it! You’ll notice that I did a chop and changed the shape again. I’m going through some stuff with regards to filing and shape, etc. I hope to settle into something soon and then things will be more consistent. There are also one or two older manis that I’ll put up as soon as I get my schedule sorted with much longer nails and the squovals I rocked for a week or so. That aside, I wanted to do better with my Easter manis this year (yeah, all 2 of them LOL) because I really hated two of the manis I did for Easter last year. If you wish to cringe with me, you can see them here and here. Let me show you what I came up with…

Easter Nail Art

I started off with my usual Tip Top base coat to protect my natural nails. I used China Glaze Lemon Fizz (yellow) with this unnamed/unbranded pink that you see in the photo and a sponge that I pulled out of a pill container to make a gradient on all my nails except my ring which I painted with 3 coats of Lemon Fizz. This pink has absolutely no name/brand or ANY information on it. I’ve never seen a bottle of polish with absolutely no indication of what it is. This was a gift from my aunt and I have no idea where she got it. It smells like my 3 free polish and the formula is good, so I’ll keep using it. I painted a coat of Dashing Diva Top Seal to dry the gradient more quickly. I got bubbles on my middle nail again. I’m starting to suspect the Dashing Diva is causing this, so I’m going to change it up for my next mani and see what happens. When the gradient was dry I stamped the bunny paw prints using PUEEN 40 and essence white stampy polish. I used Sinful Colors Snow Me White and my striping brush to paint the bunny’s head and ears on my ring nail over the Lemon Fizz. I filled in the ears  and dotted a nose with the same pink polish I used for the gradient and added googley eyes. I sealed everything in with a coat of Seche Vite.

What do you think of these? Did I do better this year? Let me know in the comments below :)

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Tiny Bubbles

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Hi everyone! I have my first Easter mani to show you today. I was pulling out pastel polishes and the idea to do a pond mani sprung up. I decided to do layers of dots between a jelly polish. I had a little trouble with it. Let me show you what happened.

Easter Pond Mani 2015

Easter Pond Mani 2015Do you see it? No? If you don’t, you will soon. I started off with my usual Tip Top base coat to protect my natural nails. I painted one coat of essense sweet as candy on all my nails. Sweet as candy is a very sheer soft pink jelly polish, perfect for sandwiches. I then used a dotting tool and the following polishes to dot randomly on my nails: China Glaze Dance Baby (pink), Tart-y for the Party (lavender), Lemon Fizz (yellow) and Tip Top Cha Cha Cha (turquoise). I dotted 2 dots of each colour onto each nail, painted another coat of sweet as candy until I had 3 coats of dots and then painted sweet as candy as my last coat. No dots over it. That’s when it started to happen. That’s when I spotted the first bubble. It was no biggie. I painted a coat of China Glaze Fairy Dust over all the nails and sealed it in with a coat of Dashing Diva Top Seal. By the next day, this is what they looked like. Now they look like Aero chocolate. Still fits with the Easter theme, no? :P A colleague confused this mani with a polish I had used before. So that was interesting. Next time I’ll just paint the Dollish and save myself all the dotting.

Bubbles aside, I really liked the way this mani turned out. I’m not sure that you can even tell that it is a pond mani. Only 2 dots of the same colour on the uppermost level of layers. Maybe I shouldn’t have overlapped the dots, or maybe darker/brighter colours would have worked better. What do you think of these nails? Did you catch the bubbles before I mentioned it?

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Toy Toggle – Review and Giveaway!

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Hi everyone! I have a very cool product to show you today. Lauren over at Toy Toggle has launched a new and unique product into the South African market which is locally manufactured and was developed by her. She asked if I would like to review it and run a giveaway for my readers. After checking it out I was left thinking “Why didn’t I think of that?” The Toy Toggle is an easy to use product that can save parents some frustration, time and even money. Basically it is a set of nylon straps and a silicone ring that hold toys/dummies and bottles together and off the floor. These straps can be attached to a high chair, pram or even your baby bag for extra storage.

Toy Toggle

The silicone band fits most bottles and sippy cups and grips the bottles nicely, even when wet, to make sure they do not meet the floor when they are knocked over (or thrown off!) from wherever you have attached them. You can vary the length of the connector straps by interchanging the longer strap for a shorter one so that you can make provision for the height difference between say a high chair and a pram. You can also attach multiple toys and even a dummy along with the bottle/sippy cup as you can see above.

Toy Toggle

I can’t tell you how many times we’ve lost a dummy or toy in a mall. Once my kids lost interest in whatever they were playing with in their pram, it wasn’t long before it was tossed out. I’ve also found numerous dummies lying in parking lots, in the mall and in restaurants (dummies belonging to other unfortunate mommies and their kids). Back then I paid R110.00 for 2 dummies. That’s a lot of money to just throw away, but throw them away they did. I’m sure it must be more expensive now. It’s also really handy that you can attach the Toy Toggle to your nappy bag for extra storage. Which mother does not need extra storage in their nappy bag? I know I did!

Toy Toggle

Check out some of the funky colours you can order in the pic below. There are also lighter colours available. You can see all the available colours in their shop. If these had been around when my kids were a little smaller, I definitely would have invested in one (or more) of these!

Toy ToggleAre you guys ready for a giveaway? Lauren is giving away a Toy Toggle to 2 lucky readers! You can enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. The competition is open to South African residents only. You can earn entries by showing Toy Toggle and me some love on Facebook and Twitter. The only mandatory entry is to leave a blog post comment telling me about something that your child has lost or tossed that could have been saved with a Toy Toggle! Good luck!

You can find Toy Toggle on their social media channels as follows:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Google+

 

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

*All images in this post were supplied by Lauren from Toy Toggle

 

 

Color Club In Theory

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Hi everyone, I’m sneaking this post in on a day I don’t normally post because this is my last post with my old nail shape and I want to get it out before I switch over to the Easter manis in April. This mani was inspired by some new studs I bought from Born Pretty Store and of course, the untrieds on my shelf. Let me show you what I came up with:

Color Club In Theory with gold accents

Color Club In Theory with gold accents

I started off with my usual Tip Top base coat to protect my natural nails. I painted 3 coats of Color Club In Theory on my thumb, index and pinkie nails. I’m not sure why a lot of the creme polishes I’m using nowadays seem to require 3 coats, maybe I’m just painting badly. In Theory is a beautiful coral shade, which leans more towards orange than pink. On my middle and ring nails I painted 2 coats of this gold glitter. I received the glitter as a gift from my aunt. There is no colour name or even a brand name on the bottle. It just says VERNIS on it which is the French word for nail polish. This is a very fine gold glitter which also has slightly larger holographic hexes in it.  I was very impressed with the opacity of this polish and it wore well too. The price was still on it and it only cost R20.00. I placed 3 x 1 mm studs on the coral nails near the cuticle in a triangle pattern. I bought these studs from Born Pretty Store. You can buy them here*.

I really loved wearing this gold glitter! Even though it is actually a fine glitter, it almost looks like a foil when it is painted on. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this mani in the comments down below :)

*Don’t forget you can use my affiliate link in the sidebar on the right to register on Born Pretty Store, as well as my 10% discount code for non discounted items :)

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Prism!

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Hi everyone! Today I have a glitter bomb from China Glaze to show you. I had been hankering towards wearing a full on glitter mani for way too long without actually doing it. I recently acquired China Glaze Prism and decided to let it leave my untried shelf faster than a lot of other polishes. Let me show you what I did.

China Glaze Prism with studded bow

I started off with my usual Tip Top base coat and painted 2 coats of China Glaze Prism onto all of my nails. I really expected this to need at least 3 coats, but it definitely did not. It applies beautifully and is a definite glitter explosion. It has a silver base with a hint of lilac with orange, blue, fuschia and green glitter hexes scattered throughout. This is an amazingly gorgeous glitter. I really love it and the different coloured glitters make it very versatile to wear! I decided to try and fashion a bow using studs and I am so stoked with the way it turned out :D I used a 2 mm square rhinestone and placed it in the center of my nail, then started placing the round black 2 mm studs (purchase here*) from the rhinestone outwards. I sealed everything in with a coat of Dashing Diva Top Seal. This little bow and all this glitter kept me amused for days!

I’d love to hear what you think of this mani in the comments below! Do you or would you ever rock a full glitter mani?

*Don’t forget you can use my affiliate link in the sidebar on the right to register on Born Pretty Store, as well as my 10% discount code for non discounted items :)

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