Just a quick post this morning. It's a blah day, and I'm tired. But I took mani pictures yesterday when there was sun. I wanted to make sure I got a picture before I put together my new bike because I was sure I'd wreck my polish when I did. Guess what, I didn't! My nails are still chip free and I have an assembled bike. Yay! Anyway, I wanted something bright after that last blah manicure, so of course it had to be neon and glitter!

After my normal bases, I started with a quick coat of SH Insta-dri Whirlwind White as underwear. I love this white. It is my favorite white ever. I can't find it anywhere! I grabbed one bottle when I found it in a spring colors display, and now no one has it. I only got one bottle because I wanted to make sure I liked it. I don't know why it's not part of the permanent Insta-dri display. I've been stalking ebay for it, and I've gotten to the point that I'm seriously thinking of buying a lot of 4 or 5 bottles. I may have lost my mind.

Anyway, two coats of Jesse's Girl Baby Cakes later and I had OMGSLAPYOUINTHEFACE pink nails. I decided it needed glitter. So I got out my NOPI Rainbow in the S-Kylie. Husband bought it for me a while ago, and he was so happy with himself! He was shocked at the price. I didn't tell him that I have bottles of polish that cost more! I didn't want to just slap on a couple coats of glitter and call it a day, so I decided to attempt a glitter gradient. I don't think I did that great of a job. Actually, I think it's mostly the polish. I guess the combination of the different sizes of glitter just doesn't work too well as a gradient. Still, it's a bit different, and I like how it turned out. I only used once coat of SV, but I'm thinking I need another. My nails aren't smooth, and it bugs me!

It's been a while since I last posted. I didn't manage to get pictures of my last few manis because I was lazy and forgot. Bad Hedgehog! But I've got one for you today. Honestly, I'm not thrilled with it. I put on China Glaze Fast Track a few days ago, and thought that maybe the color would grow on me. I loved it in swatch pictures, so that's why I bought it. But you know, I just don't like it on. I look at my nails and just think, "Meh." So I stamped on lacy tips with one of the Salon Express plates (SE11) and while I like it a little bit better, I still don't love it. I think I'll be looking for a new home for Fast Track.

I don't know what's up with my pointer finger today. I swear, I didn't even notice that hangnail until I took the picture! Also, the nail on my pointer (only on my left hand!) does that weird curling inward thing at the corner. I hate it. I wish I could figure out how to make it stop doing that!

So I'm slacking on the challenge. I've gotten soooo many new polishes lately, I just want to try them all! Plus, I'm still testing the stamps from my friend's plate that I used in my last manicure.

My husband recently pulled a muscle in his back. When he went to the pharmacy to pick up some muscle relaxers, he had 15 minutes to kill. I swear, he tried to bring home ALL THE POLISH! He brought home between 15-20 polishes for me, and amazingly, there were only 3 that I already had. So he did good! Then I went to Sally, and they were still having their buy 2 get 1 free sale, and I wanted to pick up another bottle of Fairy Dust anyway, so I grabbed 2 other China Glaze polishes that I'd been lemming but were always out of stock when I went. When it came time to redo my nails, I just took the bag full of polish that Husband bought, threw in the 2 new China Glazes, handed the bag to husband and said "Close your eyes and pick." This is what I ended up with!

The blue is China Glaze First Mate, which reminds me so much of the TARDIS from Doctor Who. That was the main reason I wanted this polish! Then I stamped on top with Revlon Smoldering. I am loving this polish. I wasn't sure how it would stamp, but Husband wanted me to try, and it stamped really well. The color shift is even more apparently in person than in pictures. I have such a hard time capturing color shifts on camera! Don't mind the scratches and dings. We didn't have sun when the mani was fresh, so there's a bit of wear.

I've been slacking on my cuticle care the last week or so, and it really shows. But I'm back on the wagon now, so they'll be happy again in no time! Of course, it doesn't help that I've been knitting like a fiend the last few days. I'm trying to finish a Red Riding Hood-esque cape for my daughter. I'd hoped to have it ready by her birthday tomorrow, but that's not going to happen, due to technical difficulties with the pattern. Completely me being a derphead. But it will be awesome when it's done!

Today I have yet another break from the 31 mani challenge. At this rate it's going to take me 6 months to finish it! But this is a special manicure. See, a friend of mine has started designing her own stamping plates, and I got to be a tester for the first one. She's still setting up shop and stuff, so I don't have the plate info to give you yet, but when they're available for purchase, I'll be sure to let everyone know!

The 2 stamps from this plate that I was the most excited about were the full nail skull stamp and the scribbly heart, so I used both. I started with my normal base coats, then put on 2 coats of Wet N Wild Silvivor and sealed it in with a coat of Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat. Then I striped my colors (Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Blue Me Away!, Sinful Colors Creme Pink, and Pure Ice Wild Thing) onto the plate, scraped, and stamped away. I used the same color for the scribbly heart on my pointer fingers, but I stamped it three times, once for each color. The whole deal was topped with Seche Vite.

Moving on with the 30 day challenge, I did lines. This is a pretty simple mani, but a wee bit different. See, I just redyed my hair. Until a few days ago, it was teal. But I decided it was time for a change, and went and bought a few different colors of dye and then spent 2 days trying to decide what to do to it. I ended up going with orange and pink. Bright orange and pink. So, I did my nails to match!

See? Pretty close, I think!

I started with Orly Bonder as a base. I skipped my normal Nailtiques 2 this time. I couldn't come up with a mani I liked, and after the 3rd time I took it all off, I decided to stop wasting the treatment. That stuff's expensive! I think when this bottle is gone I'm going to go back to one of the NailTek treatments. They seem to work just as well for me, at about 1/4 of the cost. Anyway! After my base coat, I did 2 coats of Kleancolor Neon Pink and slapped on a coat of Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat. I've started using the Revlon between my base color and any design elements I do. It seems to even out the base if there are imperfections and helps seal it in. My manicures have been lasting longer since I started doing this. Once that had set, I striped it with Kleancolor Mango and topped the whole  thing off with Seche Vite.

I'm still trying to decide if I like the pink and orange hair. I might just do all pink next time I dye. Or try combining the two differently. Or do pink and purple. Or some other color combination. Who knows!

I'm finally back to the 31 day challenge! Today, we have dots. I utterly failed at capturing the true magic of this manicure. I think I need to take a photography class or something.

I started with a base of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Black Out and put in a coat of Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat to seal it. Then I dotted it with, from cuticle to tip: Pure Ice Tease, Kleancolor Forest Fairy, Mari Moon Artsy, Jessica Iridescent Eye, Wet N Wild Gray's Anatomy, and Sally Hansen HD in Byte. The beautiful duo/multichrome goodness of Artsy, Iridescent Eye, and Gray's Anatomy really comes out in person, but this is the part I couldn't capture. The Pure Ice and SH HD colors look very very similar dotted like this. I need to swatch them, because there's a possibility they might be dupes or at least very very close.

Overall, I like it! I need some practice getting straight lines when I dot. They tend to go a wee bit diagonal on me. But that's ok, it gives it character!

Well, one day I'll get back to doing the challenge manicures, I promise! But since Easter is tomorrow, you know I had to do appropriately themed nails! So, I did eggs. Man, I need to practice doing more detail work with my right hand (I'm left handed!). Some of my lines look wobbly and smudged on my left hand, but that's OK. Most people in the wild won't even notice.

Today I have pictures of both hands, because every finger is different. Lemme tell you, it's hard to take pictures of my right hand with my camera. It's just not easy to hold in my left hand *at all*. This is why most of my pictures are of my left hand! I'm planning on getting a more compact camera in the near future. That should help a bit.

I used a lot of different polishes for this, so I'm just going to list them. I don't think you want to know what color exactly was used for each and every line and dot!!

I started with Nailtiques2 and Orly Bonder, then a single coat of Sally Hansen Insta-dri Whirlwind White. Then the colors!! I used the same colors for the gradients and the details. Here they are:

Kleancolor Bikini Green
Kleancolor Sheer Pastel Purple (which is totally pink!)
Kleancolor Mango
Orly Snowcone
Orly Spark
Sinful Colors Snow Me White

Finally, a light purple franken that I mixed up using an old Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On as a base. Can you believe I don't have any lavenders or lilacs or any other pastel purples? I need to remedy this! I topped the whole thing with Seche Vite, naturally.

It's been a week since my last post, but I have a good excuse! My sunset manicure actually lasted that long! This is a record for me. Normally, my polish starts to chip after 3 days at the most.

Today I'm taking a break from the 30 day challenge to show you a manicure I did for a different challenge. This was more of a personal challeng. My guild leader from my World of Warcraft (yeah...I'm a geek) guild challenged me to do parrot nails. So, I gave it a shot! There are a few things I'd do differently if I do something similar again, but for the most part I'm happy with it.

I used Kleancolor Blue Pearl for the background, and I'm not thrilled with it. For one thing, it's pretty sheer, and I'm just not a big fan of sheer polishes. It probably would have been better if I'd used underwear with it, but I did 3 coats of color instead. Also, I don't really care for how it looks with my skin tone. I probably won't be using much of this color. Maybe I'll use it to franken. I stamped fern leaves on top for the birds to sit on using BM03 and China Glaze Holly-day.

For the birds, I used the plastic bag decal technique, and various stash polishes, though most of them were Kleancolor. After I applied them to my nails, I topped the whole thing with Seche Vite.

No, I'm not in Hawai'i. I wish I was though! It's been so gray and dreary the last couple days. So, for day 10 of the challenge, I decided to do tropical sunset nails for my gradient. This was my first time doing a gradient manicure, and I love the way it turned out!!!

I started with my normal bases, then put down a coat of Sinful Colors Snow Me White to make the colors pop a bit more. Then I used Orly Spark, Kleancolor Mango, Red Alert, and Purple Disco. I coated it with Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat, then stamped the trees with Wet N Wild Black Lace Creme using the Salon Express plate SE18. Can you believe that I didn't see a single palm tree on any of my Bundle Monster plates? Maybe I just overlooked it. Once the trees were done, I took a flat brush and added the base under the trees. I didn't worry too much about making them identical, since nature isn't! I coated the entire deal with Seche Vite. I'm thrilled with how they turned out! 

Now that St. Patrick's Day has come and gone, it's back to challenge nails for me. Today is day 9: Rainbow. Now, I tried and tried to do traditional rainbows. I tried multiple techniques, but I didn't like how any of them came out. So I thought about it, and I decided that rainbow doesn't necessarily mean an actual rainbow, but just a rainbow of colors. I'd read about watercolor nails, and gave it a go! Now, I think this technique might work better with fewer colors, but I still like how it turned out.

I started off with my normal bases, then put on 2 coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Whirlwind White. I used Seche Vite on top to make it less likely that I'd end up with bald spots when I applied the color. Then, the fun began! I used 6 colors: China Glaze Poinsetta, LA Colors Art Deco Nail Striper in Yellow, a no name bright blue that came in a pack from Big Lots, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Sun Kissed, Zoya Holly, and Revlon Impulsive. I used yet another coat of SV on top to give it a nice shine, which I once again completely failed to capture with my picture. Someday I'll get around to making a lightbox, and maybe getting a different camera....

I had this grand plan to do rainbows and pots o'gold on my nails for St. Patrick's Day, but alas, it was not to be. My rainbows just wouldn't turn out!! So I went with plan B: Zoya Holly with pots o'gold that I made using a ziploc bag. For the pots, I started with a base of WnW Black Lace Creme. I decided that didn't look enough like cast iron, so I added China Glaze Stone Cold on top. The coins I made using a dotting tool and Orly Luxe topped with Color Club Take the Stage. I topped the whole deal with Seche Vite. Actually, that's not entirely true. I used Revlon Quick Dry Topcoat on all my fingers on top of the Zoya, then put the decals on my ring fingers, *then* put Seche Vite on just the accent finger. Of course, I had to go and bugger it up by putting the pots on my nails "upside down", but oh well. I'm still really pleased with how it turned out


Day 8 of the challenge: Metallic! I used one of my favorite polishes of all time for this mani. Unfortunately, I bought it years ago (before I really got into doing my nails) and they don't appear to actually make it anymore :(

The silver is WnW Precious Metals in Steel. I love it. I don't know why. I just do. I decided to mix it up by trying out my new crackle, Pure Ice Crackle in Strobe Light. I have to say, I'm really pleased with it. I have a couple other crackle polishes: one of the China Glaze metallic crackles and Sally Hansen Crackle in Ink Spot. I have to say, I've always been disappointed and frustrated with the SH crackle. No matter how thick or thin a layer I'd use, it would not crack nicely. I always get vertical cracks with no horizontal cracking what-so-ever. I tried applying it faster. I tried applying it slower. I tried using it over topcoat. I tried using it straight on the polish. I tried bone dry polish. I tried mostly dry polish. I tried everything. And I was sad, because I really like the way crackle looks. Then someone recommended the Pure Ice crackles. I got one a few weeks ago, and was really impressed with it, so when I saw the black at Walgreens, I had to grab it. And I'm glad I did!

As I said in my last post, I'm a bit behind on posting my manicures. So today, you get two!

First up is for day 6 of the challenge: Violet. Well, purple at least.

I started out with my normal bases, then used a coat of Revlon Impulsive as a base. Two coats of Milani 3D Holographic in Hi-Res, and I had scattered holo goodness. I loved the way this looked in the sun! I know some people are all about the linear holos, but man, I love this one. I want to get some of the other colors from this collection, but I haven't been able to find them :( I know that CVS carries them, because I've seen them there, but since I've recently moved, I haven't had a chance to get out there. I was as Walgreens today and looked for them, but had no luck :(

Next up is day 7: Black and White. I'd originally planned on stamping for this manicure, but it just wasn't meant to be. I tried several different designs, and had trouble with all of them. So I put them away and went with WnW Tangled in My Web over Sally Hansen Insta-dri in Whirlwind White instead. 

I'm a wee bit behind on my challenge mani posts. It was a busy weekend! Here's what I had for Blue: Revlon Blue Mosaic. Simple, but oh so sparkly!

I started with my normal 2 bases, then put on a single coat of Revlon Blue Lagoon just to give it a base. I don't think I really needed it, since I used 3 coats of Blue Mosaic in the end. I smoothed it out with Seche Vite. The day after I did this, I added an abstract stamp in white. It really made it look like a mosaic! The white was reminiscent of the grout that would be between the tiles. Sadly, I didn't manage to get a picture of it before it got borked :(

Next up we have green! I *just* got this polish and I've been dying to give it a go. This is Jessica "Iridescent Eye" and it's a dupe for Chanel Peridot at a mere fraction of the cost. Yay!! I tried and tried to get a great picture, but between my poor photography skills and terrible lighting (thank you umpteenth day of rain in a row!), I just couldn't capture the wonderfulness that is this polish. I can't stop staring at my hands, flexing my fingers to see the colors change!

I actually tried a little experiement with this polish, but nothing seems to have come of it. I know that with some duo/multichrome polishes, if you layer it over different colors it brings out different colors in the polish. So, after starting with my normal Nailtiques 2 and Orly Bonder, I started with a base of 5 different colors. From pinkie to thumb I used white, blue, gray, green, and white. I threw the blue in because in the bottle you can see blue around the edges but it doesn't show on the nail at all. Guess what! I don't see a difference in any of the nails, either in person or in the pictures. I guess this is just an opaque enough duochrome that it doesn't really need a base. I added Seche Vite over the whole shebang.

The orange really didn't last long. I just wasn't satisfied with the dots :( So, on to yellow!! Unfortunately, the weather here is still dismal and I don't have a good light source yet. I'm planning on putting together a homemade lightbox soon, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. So, this is the best picture I could get, and it still doesn't capture the rainbow loveliness that is Finger Paints Twisted. My hands look freakishly dry too, since I didn't want to take a minute to moisturize and miss the wee bit of, well, I won't call it sun, but brightness that we got.

I started off with Nailtiques 2 and Orly Bonder, like always. Then I gave my Sally Hansen Insta-dri Whirlwind White a try. And boy, was I impressed with it. If I'd gone a bit slower and been a bit more careful, it would have covered streak-free in one coat. But since I was just using it for a base I wasn't as careful as I would have been if I'd been wearing it alone. Still, I was really happy with it. So after the white was down, I added 2 coats of Orly Sparked. The last few times I used this, it stained my nails through both  my basecoat and my nail treatment, which is why I decided to put down white first. Also, the white helps the color stand out more. I couldn't leave well enough alone, so I added 2 coats of Finger Paints Twisted before putting on 2 coats of Seche Vite. It was odd, even though I used SV, my nails still felt pitted where the flakes were sitting, but after the second coat they were smooth. 

All in all, this manicure is ok. The yellow isn't quite saturated enough for my liking, and I'm really craving something bright and flashy with this gray weather. 

Manicure number 2 for the 30 mani challenge is orange. Maiya over at Tarts N Talons did a similar manicure not too long ago with white, gray, and black. I decided I wanted to give the look a try, and did it with different shades of orange. I'm on the fence about this one. I think I needed to use more dots, and also I might like it better on a solid background, maybe white.

I apologize for the super craptastic picture. My camera batteries are dead (again!) so I used my phone and the weather here is dismal so I had horrible lighting.

I started with Nailtiques 2 and Orly Bonder, then put on a couple coats of an iridescent, super translucent no name polish that I got from a dollar store. Sadly, it doesn't really show up, either in the photo or in person. Then I dotted it with Sally Hansen Xtreme in Crushed and Sunkissed, Spoiled Jail Bait, and Wet n Wild I topped the whole thing with Seche Vite. 

I'm really not loving this, so it's probably going to come off tonight. On to the next color!

Hiya! I'm starting this blog mostly to help myself remember what manicures I've done, and to share with my friends. I'm not a professional, not even close. My clean-up may suck most of the time, and my designs aren't always perfect. And that's just fine with me! I'm also not a photographer. I do my best, but my pictures don't look anywhere near professional. Hopefully, I'll get better with practice.

So I've decided to start with the 30 day/week/whatever challenge that has been floating around for a while. I know it's old news, but I needed inspiration this morning, so I've decided to go with it. I don't paint my nails every day, nor do my manicures *ever* last a week, so I'll just be going down the list as I redo my nails. First up: Red!

For this, I started with Nailtiques 2 ('cause I have peely nails. They're getting better, though!), and then a coat of Orly Bonder for grippy goodness. After that, 2 coats of Orly Star Spangled and a coat of Revlon Quick Dry Topcoat. The dots were done with Spoiled Bite Me and China Glaze Poinsetta. I put a coat of Seche Vite topcoat over everything, to seal it in and give it that shine I love so much.

Copyright 2010 The Painted Hedgehog