I am bound and determined to master nail stamping. As of now, I’ve done a total of 2 stamped manis, but I feel like I’m getting a little better. This is the mani I did last night, imperfections and all!

I started off with a base of Essence “You Belong To Me”, a fab minty color. Formula on this one was a nightmare! Maybe it’s just my bottle, but it was the thickest jelly I have ever seen, and wouldn’t spread to save its life! I ended up having to use thick coats plus a quick dry top coat to even it all out. I love this color enough to tolerate the bad formula though.  I wasn’t sold on mint colors until I tried this one out, and now I’m thinking I should pick up China Glaze’s For Audrey.

After finally getting the base color to even out (i did have to go back and fill in some spots on the side of my nail since the polish didnt drag well and left me with some streaky, empty spots), I used Orly Liquid Leather to stamp the pattern from Bundle Monster plate #210.  Thank god I used a top coat, that way when I made a stamping mistake I could scrape the stamping off and try again. I only had to use that trick on a couple of nails though, which is better than last time! Once the stamps were place, I felt that my mani looked okay, but was a little flat. I wanted it to pop, so I filled in the little feathery design with LA Colors striping polish in Teal Glitter. It came out looking pretty decent in my book! I need a lot more practice, but I’m getting there!

Here is the full mani, topped off with a coat of Soleil Heat Cured Top Coat:

With Flash (my lighting sucked last night!) to show color

Without Flash – you can see where I forgot to wrap the tips on a couple of nails with the quick dry polish before I stamped :

Not too bad, right? I’m going to be stamping more often in order to master it! I love the way it looks, but I’m just so bad at lining everything up, and using enough pressure to transfer the entire design.  I suppose practice makes perfect, but I’m so OCD about my nails that when they aren’t perfect I will dwell on it, leading me to strip off the entire mani and start over. I’m slowly learning that imperfections are just part of the learning curve, and I’ve only been doing my nails for 3 months, so of course I’m not going to have perfect nails!

I’m also trying out a new top coat – Soleil heat cured top coat. Its awesome so far. Reminds me of a gel top coat, but all you need to cure it is a 60-75 watt light bulb (or hair dryer). You slap it on, expose it to heat for 3-5 minutes and it’s set! So far it’s interesting. It is way shiny and hard – I can’t dent my nails after its cured, however…. Sometimes I slap on hand moisturizer and sleep with my hands covered in a pair of socks (it works great, looks silly!), but with this top coat? No can do. It keeps my hands too warm and kind of “melts” the top coat a bit. So far that’s my only complaint, but we will see how it wears over the next 2 days.

In other news, I am so happy to see that Erika over at Chloe’s Nails is coming back! Her blog was one of the first that I found, and inspired me to try more than just plain old polish on my nails. I havent done a taped mani in a while, but I love how her funky french and other taped manis look.  Chloe’s Nails and  Let Them Have Polish always inspire me (not sure if that’s a compliment since my nails aren’t anywhere near as awesome as theirs!) to try something new.

I’m off to practice on my color wheel for my next mani. I’m actually inspired for Pink Wednesday this week! Going to be trying out some freehand nail art. No good can come from this! 😉

Coming up, Revlon Facets of Fuchsia, Sally Hansen Steely Grey, a New NOPI Glitter, and “The Color that started it all – way back in the early 90’s I was really into my nails, but I only used one color although I re-did my mani every other night. I recently came across a China Glaze color that probably isn’t the original polish (I found the original at Sally’s but can’t remember the name or brand), but is an exact dupe of my 1995 color.


Happy Polishing!