Floral Decals From Born Pretty

*Disclosure: One of the products featured in this post was provided by the manufacturer for review.

During the time that Alice, from the Born Pretty Store, reached out to me in regards to writing up a product review, another item that caught my eye was this set of flower-patterned water decals. They looked perfect for springtime and I thought they’d pair nicely with a soft blue polish.

I applied two coats of Bam-Blue-Zled from Ulta onto each nail, minus the ring finger, where I instead used two thin coats of Indigo Night from Revlon Colorstay. Once the coats dried completely, I began to apply the water decals onto the lighter blue polish. The application process was extremely easy– I simply cut out the decals that I wanted to use, placed the decal face-down on the nail, and then placed a cotton ball soaked in water over it. After about ten seconds, I removed the cotton ball and the decal to reveal a perfectly placed floral transfer on each nail. I then applied one generous coat of Adrienne from Shimmer Polish onto the accent nail, and finished the manicure by applying a single coat of INM Out The Door top coat to each nail.

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This is one of the rare times that a manicure turns out just as I imagined it would! You can take a look at the other items that the Born Pretty Store offers nail artists on its New Arrivals and Most Popular pages. If it’s your first time shopping, you can use my code FLX31 at checkout for 10% off your order.

I’m excited to officially announce my return to the blog :) I’ve got a lot of fun swatches and nail designs lined up for you, so be on the lookout!


L’Oreal Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque In ‘Don’t Shy Away’

Last weekend, I went to my local CVS and came across a display for L’oreal’s Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque 1-2-3 system. I’m not normally an impulse buyer when it comes to items like this, but when I saw the description ‘Perfectly shaped and volumized nails. Rich, ultra glossy color.’ without a need for a UV lamp, I could see how someone might get sucked in.

So, I bought the system; a box containing the Step 1 Primer and Step 3 Glaze for $12.99 and a bottle of the Step 2 Color in Don’t Shy Away, a creamy navy blue, for $7.99. The application was easy enough: one coat of primer, followed with two coats of color, and finally a coat of glaze to finish the mani.

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Post-application, the mani looked extremely glossy, just as the box described. However, there was no mention of length of wear anywhere on the box or bottles. The mani stayed put for about three days until I started to notice wear along the tips of my nails. The shine also dulled significantly after three days. I was able to wear them for a little bit less than five days before my minor OCD kicked in and I had to remove the polish. The consensus? I’d rather spend $5 on a bottle of INM Out The Door, use that as a top coat for any polish of my choice, and have it last for a week, than spend $19.99 on a system that made my mani last for five days.

I, unfortunately, do not have any day-by-day photos for you :( Because I’m out of the house all day because of work, it’s so difficult to get the right lighting for my pictures like I used to. Which means, it’s time to build a light box! If you have any tips or tricks for me in regards to building one, I’d love some suggestions!

Guest Post: Just For Me Mani (Plus, An Interview Tip!)

Hi everyone!! My name is Jacqui and I run a U.S. nail art blog called craftynail.com.  I’m very happy to guest post for Polished PR today!  After all, I’ve been reading Jenn’s blog since, well, since we both started blogging!  I love that Jenn throws in little tips on career building.  I moonlight as a nail blogger, but I work as an advisor at a university for my day job.  So education and career planning is in the forefront of my mind as well.  If you read through to the end of my post I will have a bonus job interviewing tip for you!  But let’s see my nails first…

As a blogger, I often find myself doing my nails specifically for a nail art challenge, or to review a new product I received. But what’s different about this manicure is that I did it JUST FOR ME! It’s not often enough that I get to do a manicure just because I feel like it! I used two polishes that have been calling to me saying, “Jacqui, you love me, why don’t you wear me?  You keep thinking about me, but I’m still sitting here on this shelf!” Those two talking polishes are Zoya Zuza (my base color) and Sinful Colors Lush Life (glitter topper).

Being this glitter-tastic didn’t come easy though! You won’t believe how many coats of polish I’m wearing here. I applied one coat of Essence peel-off base coat, two coats of Zoya Zuza to give me a nice teal base color, 5 coats of my Sinful Colors teal glitter, and one coat of Seche Vite topcoat.  That is a total of 9 coats!  I didn’t expect needing that many, but I wanted it to be super glittery and my Lush Life glitter was more sparse than I expected.  Oh well.  No one said being beautiful was easy!




Now for my job interviewing tip!  I interview students from time to time when my office needs a new student worker or intern.  I have also been on the other side, as an interviewee, since I have had many career changes since I graduated from college.  I’ve landed some jobs that I had no experience in at all.  I’d like to think that a lot of my success hinged on my interviewing skills.  Specifically, my enthusiasm and honesty.  What do I mean by that?  If I’m interviewing for a job and I’m really psyched about it, I make sure to tell the interviewer!  You should come right out and tell them exactly why you think you are perfect for the job and that you’re really excited about the opportunity.  Be honest with them.  If you’re thinking it’s a perfect fit for you, then tell them that!  If they don’t ask you questions that allow you to express this stuff, then make sure to bring it up before you leave the interview.

When I’m saying my goodbyes I like to stand up, shake their hand nice and firm and tell them how excited I am because of x, y and z. Look them straight in the eyes and be honest and enthusiastic.  You want to end the interview with a bang so you stand out from the bunch.  Why would they want to hire someone who just comes in, sits down and answers their questions like a drone when they could hire YOU!

I must admit, I always get so nervous before I interview!  I can’t tell you how to handle that, since I haven’t found a solution for that yet.  LOL!  But none the less, I hope my little interviewing tip is helpful for you.  Thanks to Jenn for having me!  And if you want to see more of my Craftynail style, find me online!  Here’s where I’ll be hanging out– facebookpinteresttwittertumblr, and bloglovin. 


 About the Contributor:


Jacqui lives in the Hudson Valley of New York State, where she works at a university as a financial aid counselor. When the daily grind of student loans comes to an end, she can be found hibernating at home while whipping up some cool craftiness. The main focus of her blog, Craftynail, is on nail care, nail polish and cute nail designs.

Feeling French

*Disclosure: One of the products featured in this post was provided by the manufacturer for review.

Alice, from the Born Pretty Store, reached out to me a couple of weeks ago requesting reviews of a couple of the website’s products. One of the items that caught my eye was a set of ‘Nostalgic Eiffel Tower’ nail art decals— I thought the decals would make for the perfect accent nails.

It was definitely one of my better ideas! I chose my ring finger and thumb to use as the accent nails and applied two coats of Simply Sizzling from Rimmel London’s Salon Pro line on the other three nails. After the polish dried completely, I chose the decal sizes that best fit my thumb and ring finger– both sizes fit perfectly, so there was no trimming needed. The application process was super simple– I applied the decal to the bottom of the nail first, then smoothed it out toward the tip of the nail. Then, I pulled the decal gently over the tip of the nail and quickly filed off the excess. I sealed in the manicure with two coats of INM Out The Door top coat.

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love how this mani turned out! I’m so excited to use the leftover decals for future uses– I’d love to pair them with an espresso brown polish :) You can take a look at what else the Born Pretty Store offers nail artists on its new arrivals and most popular pages. If it’s your first time shopping, you can use my code FLX31 at checkout for 10% off your order.

I’ll be on hiatus for a bit, checking in here and there, but will have guest bloggers freshening up the content with beauty, fashion and career tips for your reading pleasure!


Hello, April.

Happy first day of April! It’s going to be a crazy, busy month for me, but while I’m sharing some guest posts with you, I’ll be building up some nail art inspiration just in time to share with you come May :)

Polished PR recently reached 4,000 fans on Facebook and I couldn’t be more thrilled! I’m just amazed– it was only recently that I held my 2K giveaway and I’ve already doubled that milestone, all thanks to the #sharethelove movement. Thank you, for supporting me in this journey. I really could not be where I am today without you! Next milestone: 5,000 fans– I’ll be hosting my next giveaway then!

With that, I will leave you with this whimsical, spring-themed design. I incorporated this year’s Pantone Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid, adorned with fun and bright daisies. For the base color, I used two coats of Sweet Tooth from Sinful Colors. Using a flat brush and a white polish (I used Snow Me White from Sinful Colors), I painted on five white petals and finished each daisy with a dot of yellow (Unicorn from Sinful Colors) in the center. For the accent nail, I applied a single coat of Tazmanian Devil from Confetti over two coats of Sweet Tooth.

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I hope you have a lovely day, sans any April Fools’ Day jokes ;) Until next time! xo


‘Pretty & Preppy’ Nail Art Kit From Shine & Sheen

*Disclosure: The product featured in this post was provided by the manufacturer for review.

Early in my nail art blogging ventures, I connected with Christina of Shine & Sheen, a colorful nail art blog filled to the brim with endless creativity. She was the contributor of my very first guest post on Polished PR and since then, we’ve supported one another in our contributions to the nail art community. While I stuck to the swatching, designing and blogging, Christina headed in an entrepreneurial direction with Shine & Sheen, and has launched a line of concept nail art kits!

I was SO excited when she asked if I would review one of her kits– even if I hadn’t connected with her before, the fabulous idea of concept nail art kits tailored to a certain style/personality is one that would have drawn me in immediately! I chose to be sent the Pretty & Preppy nail art kit; on the cover is Amanda, “a preppy, girly & classic Blair Waldorf”:

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The list of what’s included is long, but it’ll give you an idea of just how fabulous this kit is!

  • Nail polish in Marina Blue
  • Nail polish in Bubblegum
  • Nail polish in The Grass Is Greener
  • The 2-in-1 base + top coat
  • Nail striper in Eggshell
  • See You In The Hamptons! nail wraps (set of 14)
  • Garden Party Princess nail wraps (set of 14)
  • One pot of Girl Meets Boy nail beads
  • Nail art color wheel
  • Double-sided dotting tool
  • Mini scissors
  • Mini tweezers
  • Mini rhinestones picker
  • Mini nail file
  • Sheet of French manicure stickers
  • Toothpicks

Are you amazed yet? Everything you need to complete a pretty & preppy nail design is included in this nail art kit! I wanted my mani to have a pop of color with a hint of an accent, so I pulled out the nail polish in Bubblegum, the nail striper in Eggshell and two nail wraps in See You In The Hamptons! I applied the nail wraps to my ring fingers and applied two coats of Bubblegum to each of the other nails. After the coats dried, I used the nail striper to create a single line down the center of each nail– save for the thumb, where I created a V with the striper.

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It was so effortless to pull off this look! I’m so excited to create even more designs with the items provided in the nail art kit– I’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, if you’re interested in checking out the four other themed nail art kits and ordering your own, you can visit Shine & Sheen’s shop here. Originally $35 per kit, you can order a kit for the special price of $30 from now until the end of April!

2K Giveaway Winner

The giveaway that I hosted on Rafflecopter for reaching 2,000 followers on my Facebook page has ended, and a winner has been randomly selected!

Congratulations to Jacqui, from Craftynail! She just won a package of nail goodies, including a bottle of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, four mini bottles of the new Sheer Tints by OPI, a bottle of the Gwen Stefani Signature Shade ‘Over & Over-A-Gwen’ from OPI and a package of OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps!

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Thank you so much to everyone who helped make this giveaway happen by being a Facebook fan and who participated in this giveaway :) There will most definitely be more opportunities for giveaways in the future, so be on the look out!

Workplace Wednesday: Unconventional French Manicure

Although I will be featuring the classic French manicure at some point within this Workplace Wednesday series, I thought it’d be fun to do something a little out-of-the-box this time around. I was thinking about the look I wanted to pull off for today’s post and ‘fun & flirty’ immediately came to mind.

So– lo and behold– an unconventional French mani. Or, as I like to view it, a strapless dress design embellished with strings of pearls ;)

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It’s a simple do-it-yourself design– all it takes is a sheer pink base, an angled stroke from both the left and right sides with a dark polish, and some pearly white dotting. For the base, I used Crush in Lake Como from Cuccio Colour. The strapless dress was painted on using Vivacious Verdigris, also from Cuccio Colour, and the pearls were created using a plain white polish, Snow from China Glaze.

At first glance, do you see strapless dresses adorned with strings of pearls, or just an embellished French manicure? 

Green & Gold Nails For St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope you’re wearing some form of green today– bonus points for you if it’s on your nails ;)

I thought it’d be be fun to do a fresh St. Patrick’s Day-inspired set that didn’t require the shamrocks, rainbows or pots of gold; just a simple and clean green and gold design.

For my thumb, ring and pinky fingers, I started off with two thin coats of Vivacious Verdigris from Cuccio Colour, a dark, matte metallic green. After the polish dried, I applied a v-shaped decal towards the tip of each nail and covered it with a coat of Honey Ryder, a Liquid Sand polish from The Bond Girls Collection by OPI. After this polish dried completely, I carefully peeled off the stickers to reveal a v-shaped metallic green design on each nail.

For my index and middle fingers, I began with a single coat of I Come In Peas from Sephora by OPI, and topped it with a thick coat of Linna from Shimmer Polish.

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love how clean cut it turned out! I usually have such horrible experiences using decals or stickers to create a textured design, but it worked out perfectly for me this time around– hopefully this is a good sign for future experiments. I also love how it doesn’t scream, ‘Kiss me, I’m trying to pretend I’m Irish,’ but still covers me on the wearing green part :)

Did you paint your nails green for St. Patrick’s Day? Share your photos with me by tagging me (@polishedpr) on Instagram!

Workplace Wednesday: Waterfall Nail Art

Happy Wednesday– I hope your week is going well :) Today’s Workplace Wednesday features a super easy nail art trick that anyone can pull off to add a little oomph to an otherwise plain manicure– a waterfall design!

I started off with a plain pastel pink base, Marsha from Julep, which was exactly the color I used for my Oscars mani cam post. I chose two different shades of gold, Luxe from Orly and I Only Shop Vintage from Sephora by OPI.

Starting off with I Only Shop Vintage and using a thin acrylic paint brush, I painted four to five strokes from the base of the nail to halfway up the nail, on each nail. After cleaning the brush, I switched to Luxe and painted again, four to five strokes, in between the lines I already created.

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The best part about this nail art design? You don’t have to have steady hands to pull it off, because it doesn’t have to be perfect! Plus, any color combination looks absolutely fabulous :)