ABC Challenge · Nail Art · Nails

ABC Challenge: Z is for Zodiac

This is it: the final manicure for the ABC Challenge this year. Unfortunately, I’ve been sick/busy/exhausted, and as it turns out, I took terrible pictures of this manicure. Oh well… 

For the final letter of the alphabet, I went with the zodiac. There are five different zodiac signs in my immediate  family, so I stamped one on each finger. Here it is:

z-is-for-zodiac-1z-is-for-zodiac-2

I made more than one oopsie during the course of this mani. The biggest of them was that I did not top coat after stamping because the base was a beautiful textured finish. As you can see, the Gemini twins lost an arm each between the first and second shots! (I don’t have pictures to document it, but I lost nearly all of the stamped images within an hour or so.) You live and learn, right?

The star of this manicure for me was the base. Confession time: I actually did this as an experiment and only stamped over it after a few days of wearing it because I knew I wouldn’t have time for the zodiac mani afterwards. I started off with two coats of OPI in Solitaire from the Bond Girls collection, a beautiful sand textured silver-white. Over that, I did a watermarble using two of my frankened jelly polishes — the inky blue and raspberry jellies (see this post for further detail about how I mixed them). I ended up with a gorgeous textured pastel manicure that I will definitely be recreating in the future. Here’s a look (though I don’t think any of the pictures do this beautiful shimmery mani justice):

Over this base, I stamped using Born Pretty Store black stamping polish and Moyra Orientalist (plate #20). Once again, this plate did not disappoint; the details on the images are intricate and the etching is perfect. Pickup and transfer were no problem, even on the rough textured base. Any issues in stamping that you see in the pictures occurred between clean-up and photography, and I will be posting more manis in the new year using this and other Moyra plates.

Also part of the experiment was using petroleum jelly to protect my skin & cuticles during the watermarbling process. I’m thrilled to report that it worked 100%. It took a bit of time to apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly on all 10 fingers, but clean-up was as easy as wiping off the petroleum jelly with a q-tip. Also, I’m not sure how it works with liquid latex/other peel-off barriers, but when I tape my fingers before watermarbling, I can only do a couple of fingers at a time because the taped fingers are too stiff and I cannot move them enough to apply tape on the rest. With the petroleum jelly, I did all 10 fingers and was able to dip four fingers at a time. Taping my fingers is a hindrance to doing more watermarble manis as far as I’m concerned and I’m looking forward to doing more in the new year.

Let me know what you think of this mani and of my experiment with the jelly watermarble base! Also, check out my other ABC Challenge posts under the nail art tab [Nails → Nail Art → ABC Challenge]. I don’t have the link for the rest of the ladies’ manicures with the letter Z yet, but do check back in next week to see what they’ve come up with!

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