Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Llama Nails Holiday Challenge week 3: Diwali

Hey y'all!

This week the Llama Nails Challenge theme was Diwali.  I had no idea what Diwali was, so I had to turn to the little magic box to provide answers.

Diwali, also called Divali and Deepavali is the Hindu "Festival of Lights" that runs for 5 days, usually between mid-October and mid-November.  From Wikipedia:

"Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil.  These lamps are kept on during the night and one's house is cleaned, both done in order to make the goddess Lakshmi feel welcome.  Firecrackers are burst because it is believed that it drives away evil spirits.  During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends."

It is also celebrated by Sihks and Jains, though for different origins.  Over the course of my research, I learned that Diwali's spiritual significance is that it marks the triumph of one's inner light (higher awareness) over ignorance in order to bring about joy and peace.  This resonates with me because I have been on my own path towards this kind of joy and peace for a few years now.  The more I learn about Hinduism, the more it seems that I should learn, because though it is a very complicated religion, it seems more of a philosophy and way of life that closely aligns with some of my own personal beliefs.

One of the most iconic images of Diwali is that of the ghee lamp called a diya.  It was from this image that I derived the inspiration for today's challenge mani.

I knew that to pull this mani off, I would need to use rich colors and a lot of glitter to capture the "row of lights" feel of the celebration.  I began by sponging a gradient of Rimmel Double Decker Red and ILNP Cygnus Loop onto all of my nails.  Then I topped all but my middle finger in elf Golden Goddess, and then sponged additional glitters from that polish onto the tips only, which sealed in a third layer of gradient on those nails.  I wanted to experiment a bit because I thought the glitters were so overpowering, so I added a matte topcoat, just to tone it down a little bit.

While I really liked this look, I suspected it might be a little TOO matte, and I definitely wanted those glitters to shine, so I opted to go ahead and gloss it back up with a coat of Seche Vite.  I also found a cute stamp on my MJXII plate that looked very much in the theme, so I added one on my index finger to test the look, stamped in Barry M Gold Foil.
You can see some SV shrinkage on my index finger, apologies.  Anyway, this ultimately did what I wanted.  By first matting and then reglossing, the glitter came to life without being too in-your-face.  I decided I really liked the gold stamp, but it needed some more definition, so I opted to do the "shadowing" technique, using OPI Incognito in Sausalito first, then covering with the Gold Foil.   
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This added the level of definition I was looking for.  Next it was time to work on my accent nail, patterned after the diya light.
I used hole reinforcements to create the arched lamp shape on the tip in the same Gold Foil.  Then I used a Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in Blue to fill in the base of the tip.  I used a dotting tool with Maybelline Onyx Black to add the details on the lamp.  For the flame, I created a tape cutout to mark off the flame and painted it in using OPI Chop-Sticking To My Story.  I added the inner flame with elf Yellow, and the innermost flame in Sally Hansen White On.  I used a dotting tool to add the base of the flame again in Chop-Sticking.

Here's the full mani.  I'm pretty proud of this one, even though it took a lot of effort to take off because of all the glitter.  

Next week's theme is Veterans Day, so I'll probably be pulling out the red, white, and blue.

What do you think?  Do you celebrate Diwali in any of its variants?

Much love,

Don't forget to check out the other Diwali nails from this week's challenge: