Welcome to my very first review! This post is long and picture heavy. I hope you’ll stay with me.
Now that my blog has been running for over 6 months and I post regularly and some of you seem to like it, I thought I’d try and get involved with some companies to review things. My first stop: Born Pretty Store. They were kind enough to offer me some of their decals for review, and I picked two designs – a fun Barbie themed set and a full sheet subway map.
First off, the Barbie decals (search for Vintage Nail Art Water Decals, these are D227). I’m not generally a big pink person but Barbie kinda needed it. So I started with a simple gradient using Miss Sporty 485, Tara’s Talons Happily Ever After and Color Club Wing Fling. Then I carefully cut out the decal I wanted, peeled off the clear cover layer and dropped it into water. The design comes off the backing paper easily within about 30 seconds, and then I just placed it where I wanted it, smoothed it down, dried off the excess water and top coated. I couldn’t resist adding a bit of extra bling so I used some pink gems from a Primark nail art pen and I also sponged some Models Own Northern Lights onto the accent nails. Another layer of top coat and I was good to go!
I wasn’t quite sure when these decals arrived if I was going to like them – the designs seem a bit cutesey and not very me – but actually once they’re applied they really make the mani pop. Because they’re silhouette they have an air of class to them and I’ve worn these on a couple of other manis since. This is the first time I’ve managed to not smudge decals when applying the top coat, yay! There are loads more decals on the sheet with a whole bunch of different designs – the dog is super cute and there are relatively few that actually say Barbie on them. So you could get away with these for lots of different designs! They’re wonderfully easy to apply and surprisingly versatile. All in all, I really like them.
So, onto the map decal (search for Vintage Letter Graffiti Map, these are QQ-43). This arrived as a whole sheet and you pick the bit of the design you want on your nail and then cut out a section. Ever since I saw Cute Polish use map decals I’ve been on the look out for something like it – they look so cool!
Good points: These. Look. AWESOME. Seriously. I was not at all disappointed when it came to the final effect, it was everything I’d hoped it would be. The decal is really detailed and you can read all the subway stations on it. There’s something very cool about knowing you’re wearing an actual subway map! The decal is also opaque – I applied a couple of coats of Barry M Lychee as a base in case it should through but I needn’t have worried because the decal really does hold its own.
However: I found these really tricky to apply. On one of my nails I clearly forgot to remove the protective cover before I dropped it in the water – I thought I had but when I tried to apply it to the nail the whole thing was way too stiff and unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the cover off and it was wasted. 😦 The sheet itself is quite stiff and it doesn’t really stay in place while you’re trying to smooth it over the nail – it takes a bit of skill to get it on without any wrinkles!
The sheet is quite small so you’d struggle to get 10 nails out of it if you’re trying to do full cover on quite large nails like these. I think there are other things you could do with the decal that aren’t full cover though, if you don’t mind. On my thumb nail I just layered a few blocks of the decal over the Barry M Lychee base and that looked quite cool, a bit postcard-like. The decal is still sticking up a little bit at the edges because I couldn’t get it to stay down with top coat. As I mentioned – this sheet is thick.
Lastly, to get rid of the outside of the decal I filed away the excess. This was really fiddly and time consuming! You could use acetone to dissolve the excess, that might be simpler. I may have made extra work for myself.
Despite all that, I think this sheet is well worth the effort. It looks fantastic and I’m very tempted to get a few more! There are some designs that you just can’t reasonably do freehand and I think this is one of them. Just look at the level of detail on it… I just… wow.
Summary: This is my first experience of using decals from Born Pretty Store – all the ones I’ve used in the past have been from eBay and Amazon, and I’ve gotta say I’m impressed. The subway might have been a bit tricky, but the Barbie decals were a piece of cake and the overall look of both is great. I bought a load more decals in their sale and I can’t wait to have a go with those next. The quality seems to be a lot better than the decals I’ve used in the past.
Born Pretty Store have a vast array of nail art products, many of which cost next to nothing and the shipping is free worldwide! (You may have noticed my love affair with their studs of late.) They’ve got new stuff arriving all the time so you are really spoilt for choice.
Born Pretty Store have generously given me my own discount code – if you enter RTMX31 at the checkout you’ll get 10% off your order!
Well done if you made it to the end of this post! I’m really keen to review/feature other products on my blog so if you’ve like my writing style and you’ve got something you think I’d like, please get in touch!
Any and all comments welcomed. What’s your experience of Born Pretty Store?
*Born Pretty Store sent me this product but I will always give an honest and unbiased review. All views are my own.