Thursday, October 27, 2016

Born Pretty Store MEGA Review: Mirror Powder & Other Goodies!

*Provided for honest review*

Hey, everyone!

Well, this post is a LONG time in the making! I (shamefully) got these items to review in approximately early August, and have just gotten enough time to sit down and document my review. That's right, I've finally hopped on the "chrome nails" bandwagon, and oh boy is it a ride! Keep reading to find out more! Oh, and be ready for lots of pictures and words!

All of the products I was sent to review are perfect for achieving the popular chrome nails look, so I decided to do a Mega Review of how to use them all together! Of course, the most important item you need for this look is the Mirror Powder, available HERE for currently $1.99 (normal price $7.99) for a container of 1 gram. I chose, obviously, the silver pigment, although there is also an option for gold. The mirror powder also comes with a double-ended eyeshadow applicator, but I didn't use this. I'll get into that shortly!

Possibly the second most important item needed to get the chrome look on your nails is a no-wipe gel top coat. Now, I'm honestly not sure why this is (maybe some chemistry I need to research!), but THIS ONE from BPS is perfect for this! I discovered it was a no-wipe only after reading some of the reviews and doing a bit of digging, but it seemed to work splendidly! It currently costs $3.29 (normal price is $6.12) per 10mL bottle, and as you can see above has a removable cap so it's easier to hold while applying to your nail. I did find this a bit thicker than I expected, but I'm still a n00b when it comes to gel stuff so that might be normal!

Another item I reviewed were THESE latex-free cuticle protectors. They are currently listed at $1.59 (normally $2.61) per pack of 10, so they're a pretty good alternative to similar products from Mitty Burns and other indie nail brands. Why did I review these, you may ask? Well, because basically every chrome application video I've seen on Instagram the last few months leaves the client's fingers looking super messy and sparkly. And I wanted to avoid as much of that as possible. Hence these nifty little things! I'm actually going to be doing an extended experiment with these to see if they can be reused a few times, so stay tuned for that as well! But they are quite easy to peel off and apply, I'm a huge fan of them!

As for THIS set of silicone brushes, I'm super happy with them! They're currently $6.14 (normally $9.03) for 5 different styles. I originally got them to burnish the chrome onto my nails, but I've found that they all are great for a multitude of uses - including sculpting my builder's gel, placing rhinestones/glitter, nail cleanup, polish mixing, and more! I like the variety of brush tips, which you can see in the above and below pictures. They're also really easy to clean as they are acetone-proof (at least so far!). I prefer using these for the mirror powder rather than the little sponge applicator that came with the powder simply because they're a little easier to handle and also better for getting right up to the edge of the nail without making a huge mess everywhere else!

AND NOW for the main event! I've compiled a collage for y'all to see the steps I took to achieve the chrome nails look using these items I was sent to review! So follow along with the little numbered steps below!

1. I applied two coats of Wet n Wild Black Creme and waited for it to dry completely.
2. I applied one even coat of the BPS no-wipe soak-off gel topcoat. I cured for about 2 minutes under     my tiny UV flashlight, which I held in place using a nail polish Grip & Tip stand.
3. I applied one of the cuticle protectors around my nail for prevention of major chrome fallout. I was     able to wrap it under the tip of my nail easily as well!
4. I used the angled round silicone brush to scoop and place the powder onto my nail. 
5. Just a better look at the silicone brush I used for steps 4 and 6. 
6. I burnished/polished the powder onto my nail as much as I could. This essentially forces the               chrome powder/flakes into a flat orientation and makes it more likely to reflect light!
7. I used a fan brush (seen in the background) to gently brush away the excess mirror powder,               revealing the shiny surface beneath.
8. I peeled off the cuticle protector - see how little there is to clean up now?
9. I applied one thin coat of the BPS aqua base that came with the mirror polish, since in all my trial       and error I found that it dulled the mirror finish of the mirror powder the least
10. After waiting about 10 minutes, I applied one coat of Seche Vite over the aqua base. In my trial       runs, the aqua base didn't last well as a topcoat by itself, but acted as a great barrier between the       chrome layer and normal fast dry topcoat. Before this picture, I also used a soft nail brush and           warm soapy water to remove any other excess mirror powder from my cuticles. Man, it likes to           grip tight and not come off!

In the pictures above and below, I have the mirror powder on the left nail (following all steps above). On the nail on the right, I applied the BPS mirror polish until it was opaque. In the top picture, they have approximately the same mirror-like abilities. I did notice that the powder has a slightly warmer tone to it than the polish, though. AND, as most of us know from reviews of the mirror polish, it has terrible staying power without a topcoat, BUT the mirror-like quality is ruined with a topcoat. So in the picture below, I applied one coat of the BPS no-wipe soak-off gel topcoat over the mirror polish. It definitely fogged it up a lot, but this is the best I could get out of any topcoat combo.

Basically, if you're debating whether to go for the Mirror Powder or the Mirror Polish from Born Pretty Store, I think you're better off with the powder. Sure, it's a more involved process, but your overall end-result is more durable and more mirror-like. But hey, that's just my opinion! I have no idea how this BPS mirror powder compares to some of the other brands' alternatives, but most people don't have the kind of budget to allow for a $30 jar of one gram of shiny powder. So I'm perfectly pleased with Born Pretty Store's version of this super-trend! And, you know me, I had to include a little "polish in motion" clip. SHINYYYYY!

I highly recommend all of these products that I've been sent to review. If you'd like to purchase one or any of them, be sure and use my code below for a discount on your order! So do you think you'll give chrome nails a try? Or have you already joined the crowd? What are your thoughts on it? Leave me a comment or question below and let me know! And if you've stuck around until the end of this lengthy post, THANK YOU! A lot of my time and thought went into this! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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