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.

Copyright 2010 The Painted Hedgehog