Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July Manicure with Born Pretty Dotting Tools

Hello! Hope everyone is having a fabulous evening!

For the Fourth of July I wanted to do a sparkly red, silver, and blue manicure with nail art. So out popped the dotting tools, since that's the extent of my "free-handing" techniques. Quite a while ago I was asked if I'd like to review a few products from the Born Pretty Store, which sells beauty supplies online (nail polishing supplies in particular). Now that I've had a chance to try them out, I'd like to share my experience with you while sharing a nail design at the same time.

Below are the colors I chose for this manicure:

From Upper Left to Lower Right: Orly Dazzle, Nicole by OPI Make a Comet-ment, OPI What's with the Cattitude?, OPI Ogre-the-Top Blue, American Apparel Downtown LA, Lippmann Collection It's Delovely.

The above photograph shows the dotting tools from Born Pretty. In this set, there are five dotting tools. Each dotting tool is double sided, where one set of the sides consists of the same size end for each dotting tool, while the opposite set of sides consists of a different sized end for each dotting tool ranging from a fine point to a almost 1/8th an inch wide. For this manicure, I used the set of sides that varied in sizes.

Step 1 begins with base coat and two coats of Orly Dazzle. Because I wanted to use a sparkly silver polish as the base, I already knew I liked NOPI's Make a Comet-ment over Orly's Dazzle, so Steps 1 and 2 are basically the foundation color for the nail art dots.

Step 2 is to add two coats of Nicole by OPI's Make a Comet-ment. These pictures do not showcase this lacquer to its true potential. Make a Comet-ment is highly 'blingy' and sparkles even in indirect sunlight (as seen above), as well as it dazzles in direct sunlight. I added a quick dry topcoat to speed up the drying time.

Step 3 is adding the first column of dots. My conceptual idea for this manicure was to have the dots in rows where each row of dots varies in size and color, with the middle two rows being larger dots and bolder/darker colors than the two rows on the sides.

This step is the hardest out of the four that consist of adding dots, because in this step, you have to decide where to place the first column of dots, keeping in mind that there will be three other columns of dots that must fit and be relatively uniform in pattern. Try placing the dots to the right or left of 'center' so that the next column can go on the opposite side of the (imaginary) center line.

And now for the second column of dots! Using Downtown LA and a smaller dotting tool than the one used in Step 3, line up a column of dots on the opposite side of the center line of your nail than the first column of dots was placed on. To make this second column of dots appear visually smaller, not only should you use a smaller dotting tool than used in Step 3, but you should also try to fit in more dots in the same amount of space the first column of dots took up. The visual quality of seeing more dots grouped together in the same length as the first column of dots will strengthen the effect of the second column of dots being smaller than the first.

Now begins the first column of side dots. Using a lighter shade of blue than the first (here I used OPI's What's with the Cattitude?), choose a dotting tool that is smaller than the one used for the second row of dots in Step 4, because the goal is to get each column of dots to look smaller (or larger) than the others.

Depending on the width of your nail bed, you may have more room to space your column of dots farther apart than if your nail beds are more narrow. Also, try to keep the dots on the background color, rather than trying to fit more dots within the column by letting them bleed onto the natural nail.

Step 6 is the final column of dots to be added. Using the lighter red shade (It's Delovely by Deborah Lippmann/Lippmann Collection), add a column of dots next to the original red shade remembering to use a smaller dotting tool than was used for the last 3 columns of dots.

And now you're done!

The above photograph was taken in direct (fading) sunlight. You can barely see the glossy shine from the final top coat, and a hint of the silver sparkle is visible underneath the dots as well.

So there is my final manicure for the Fourth of July! Did you do any nail art for the fourth (or your national holiday, whatever it may be) this year? I did see some other dot art for the Fourth on other blogs, and I can see why! This is a fun, easy tool that lets you create an eye-popping design without the frustration or hassle of real free-handed art.

If you're interested in purchasing some dotting tools, I highly recommend this set from Born Pretty. The range of sizes for the circumference of the dots each tool gives you is varied enough that you won't have to worry about trying to find a pin or a ball point pen to make into an additional dotting tool. Also, the prices are quite reasonable, especially compared to the cost of dotting tools at brick-and-mortar beauty supply stores.

A final tip on the dotting tools, if you've never used them before, my method for "painting" with them consists of having an index card (or other thick card stock) nearby. I drop a few drops of polish in a little pile onto the card, and then I lightly touch the end of the dotting tool into the nail polish on the card. I practice stamping once or twice on the card, and then when I am using the dotting tools on my nails, I use one dip in the polish for one dot on the nail, and repeat as needed. There is no hassle for clean up on the dotting tools. Just a little acetone on a cotton pad will rub away the nail polish left over from your nail art!

*Supplies in this post were provided by the company or PR firm in exchange for an honest review. For more information about this blog's policy on reviews and supplies, please refer to the Disclosure Policy at the bottom of the page.*


  1. This is really cool! i wish that i owned a dotter!!!

  2. @Spaceinvaders: Thanks!

    @ABOP: Thank you! (I find that a great complement coming from the Queen of Dotting! ;) )

    @JeeZ TrendZ: Thanks for the comment! Dotting tools are great to have - if you're considering it, I would recommend it since your blog showcases your appreciation for nail art (like your fabulous splatter mani in neon purple and yellow)!

  3. I LOVE this! =] It's so simple and cool!

  4. Lovely design and I like the fact you show us the nail art step by step:)

  5. u did a great job =] pleasw follow back britters89.blogspot.com


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