Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Llama Nails Holiday Challenge week 8: Kwanzaa

Hey y'all!

So, this has been an interesting week so far.  I had a ginormous fail on my first attempt at today's challenge theme (pic at the bottom of the post), I received a great prize I won in a giveaway (and posted about it yesterday), picked a winner for my giveaway, and almost adopted another dog who wandered into our garden yesterday.  He's back home where he belongs now, but since he didn't have tags, I was sorely tempted to convince Hubby to let me keep him, because he really is very sweet and I feel bad because I have listened to him whine and cry outside pretty much since the neighbors got him earlier this summer.  However, he has a little buddy who did not follow him through the fence, so I feel better at least knowing he's not just a little dog living outside by himself.

I'm also in the process of working with an independent rep in the US to get some content that I'm fairly sure will be the first UK introduction to this cosmetic line.  The line is planning on expanding into the UK in 2014 and I'm psyched to be on the front lines of it.  Samples should be coming to me soon, and I'll have some reviews and swatches for you when that happens.  Exciting!

So, let's get back to the nail art.  This week's theme is Kwanzaa, which is predominantly celebrated in the US to celebrate African heritage.  Created in 1966, it has seven core principles:

  • Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems, and to solve them together.
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  • Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  • Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  • Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
The predominant symbolism of Kwanzaa is that of the kinara, which is a seven-branched candle holder which are lit one-per-day, much as during Hanukkah.  The seven candles represent the seven core principles of Kwanzaa, three being red, three being green, and the center is black.  These are also the traditional colors of the holiday.  The black candle symbolizes African race, red stands for African bloodshed, and green stands for the land of Africa.  The center black candle is lit first, and the lighting alternates between the red and green candles beginning with the outermost red candle and moving towards the center.

After making a giant mess of my first manicure by trying to do too much, I decided to K.I.S.S. using a black nail with red and green overlapping V-tips.

I'll give you, this isn't my most intricate manicure ever, nor is it my cleanest.  Whereas the lines looked fairly straight when I freehanded them, the macro shots tell otherwise.   In my defense, it still looks better than my first design.

I started with Maybelline Blackout over the whole nail, which is a glossy one-coat black, and topped with SV to cut down dry time.  Next I swiped elf Teal Blue across one corner, which isn't very teal for me at all and is in fact quite grassy green in person, and again swiped SV for two reasons: first because I wanted to cut my dry time, and second because I wanted to make sure that my final swipe didn't muddy with the green.  I finished with a swipe from the other side of the tip in Rimmel Double Decker Red. which I've gloated on before.  Before that had a chance to dry, I pressed in some black rhinestones in the center of the V-tip, and covered once again in SV.

I can definitely see that the green looks more teal in the pics, but I think it still contrasts nicely against the red and in person it looked very green, so no complaints there.  I struggled with this theme for a while, and am satisfied that while this is simple, it still reads as sophisticated and appropriate.  Additionally, it helps that these are Christmas-y colors (except the black) - so no one could accuse me of social appropriation, even when I twerk.  Just kidding.  I can't twerk; if this thing gets to jiggling, it might never stop.

My original concept was to start with green and do the distressed dry brush technique introduced by Sarah at Chalkboard Nails earlier this year.  What I didn't count on was how muddy the red and green would get, effectively giving me a green and brown mess that even rhinestones couldn't fix.

Had this not been for a challenge and were I not going for a specific color combination, I would've liked the distressed nail (pre-rhinestone). Ah well, live and learn.

I'll be back tomorrow with another challenge mani for the CNTCWC.  I wish I could type that without my brain reading it as a really filthy phrase.  Oh well.

Although I think I might be the only person left actually DOING this Llama Nails challenge, be sure to check out any of the other looks that get thrown into the inlinkz below.

Much love,