Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Llama Nails Holiday Challenge week 9: Winter

Hey y'all!

Hard to believe Christmas is only a week away, isn't it?  Here in southwestern England, the weather has been quite mild for what I expected midway through December.  We've had a few nights of drizzling rain filled with teeny little tufts of micro snowflakes, which hubby says they call sleet.  After some research, it turns out that once again, this is another word that has completely different meanings in the UK vs US.  Back home, sleet is rain with actual ice in it, not to be confused with hail, which is bigger.  Apparently here, they call them "ice pellets".  It's true, we really are two countries divided by a common language.  In any event, the winter is here, but I expect it to get much worse before it gets better.

This week's theme for the Llama Nails challenge is, in fact, Winter.  I wanted to capture some traditional wintery images, even if we haven't really experienced much of it where I live.

To create this manicure, I began with a vertical gradient of two ILNP Ultrachromes - Birefringence and My Little Glacier.  I sandwiched MLG between two stripes of Birefringence on a makeup sponge and dabbed them down each nail.  Unfortunately because the colors both have a fairly strong blue base, it's kind of hard to see that I did this and probably could've opted to just use MLG, but whatevs.  You can see it most clearly on my index finger in these pics, and I almost managed to capture a bit of color shifting on my index and pinky.  Sort of.  If you look really carefully and know what you're looking for. 

Okay, fine, it's nigh invisible.  Just pretend for my sake.

My next step was to add just a hint more jazz to two accent nails, so I put a coat of Sinful Colors Hottie (the bottle is pictured above) over my middle and ring fingers.  This is a multicolor microglitter mix in a sheer medium blue base that doesn't give a lot of coverage on its own but is perfect for layering.

The next step was to try my hand at more stamping.  I grabbed the winter-tree-like image from the BM407 plate and stamped it over the two middle fingers in Essie Nothing Else Metals.  Since I didn't quite hit the tip of the nail fully with the stamp, I covered that with a little french tip of the same color.

I finished the look by grabbing the snowflake patterns on the MoYou Christmas 01 plate and covered the thumb, index, and pinky, while only adding them to the top of my accent nails, all in Sally Hansen White On.  As usual, the entire mani is topped with SV to seal it in. 

All told, I'm calling this a successful stamping adventure, although it took several passes on those snowflakes to get the kind of nail coverage I wanted.  I must say I'm really impressed with both the Bundle Monster and the MoYou plates.  I was really worried about losing some of those small details, but the snowflakes and the tree branches all lifted nicely off the plate using my regular pink stamper, so they must be etched really well.

Does it look like a wintery scene to you guys?

It looks like I really am the last man standing with the Llama Nails challenge, but if anyone else is linked in below, please be sure to check out her work.

I'll be back tomorrow with more of the CNTCWC!

Much love,