Hello dear readers,
Have you ever wished for magical, enchanting iridescent colors at your finger tips? Drool-worthy, envy inspiring nails that you could spend hours, days even, staring at? Well, now your wish can come true! Luminaura Aurora pigment from Social Claws is a game changer. It is truly one of the most beautiful pigments I’ve seen. Angela from Social Claws spent months working with the chemical engineers to get the perfect crystal AB electroplate effect pigment and I think she knocked it out of the park with this one!
When applied correctly, Luminaura Aurora will have a high mirror finish that color shifts between pink, blue, green and gold depending on the base color. Pink, blue and light green show more over white or very pale colors, gold and darker green show more over black or darker shades. It is a transparent pigment similar in micron size to her Chromageddon but unlike Chromageddon it will allow more of the base color to show. The key to getting the best finish is using a no-wipe topcoat and burnishing with a silicone tool. I will show the steps I have used with success below.
For the first swatch, I start with a white base coat, I used Cuccio Verona Lace, cured and then applied 1 coat of Akzentz Shine On no-wipe top coat and cured for the recommended 30 seconds in an LED lamp.
Now there are many ways to apply the initial layer of Luminaura, you can use the Sugar Drop sponge (I think she may have switched the a black makeup wedge sponge) or finger cot that comes with your order, or you can use sponge eyeshadow applicator, your own makeup wedge or a silicone tool. My personal favorite is soft yet dense makeup wedge or round to get a fast even coat of pigment before I use the silicone tool.
I pick up a small amount on my sponge, you don’t need to slather this on, a little really does go a long way, no need to waste it!
Once you get an even coat on the nail you may see it’s a bit grainy looking, this is reduced significantly by using the silicone tool to burnish a little bit more pigment onto the surface. Using firm pressure and either an up and down or circular motion, burnish the pigment until the graininess is reduced, you can also use the finger cot to refine the finish and help remove any stray particles. You’ll see the mirror finish really pop and the colors will be more vibrant. On super close up, you may still see some faint grain but at normal distance the finish is highly reflective and smooth.
Here are other examples of without/with burnishing:
To get the best wear, here are a few tips that have worked for me. Before applying the topcoat, take a hand file and lightly etch along the sides and free edge of the nail, this will help give the topcoat something to cling to since there is no sticky layer. Brush away dust. If you have worked with mirror pigments before, you may have experienced an issue with topcoat separating on the nail, usually pulling away from the tips, cuticle and sides (see photo below) leaving bald areas where there is no top coat (again, this is because there is no tacky layer for the topcoat to meld with).
This is a frustration I wanted to find a solution for and I found one that works for me. OPI Bond Aid dehydrator…now, I’m no chemist so I don’t know how exactly this helps, all I know is it just does. I have used the Bond Aid over the Luminaura for 2 manicures and the topcoat doesn’t pullback or separate and I have no chipping or peeling. Apply the BondAid around the perimeter and tip and then over the entire surface of the nail using a feather light touch to avoid loosening any of the pigment. The BondAid did not affect the mirror finish. I then apply the Akzentz no-wipe, flash cure for 4-5 sec and then apply another coat and do a full cure. 2 coats will help with the wear.
Here is the final result…truly a magical effect! It really needs to be seen in person to appreciate how gorgeous it is.
Here are 2 video tutorials:
I hope you have enjoyed the peek at this magical pigment and that you give it a try.