Happy Game Day! If you didn’t already know, I live in the overly-hot state of Alabama. Down here, people live and breathe college football- most of the SEC states do. And in Alabama, you choose between Alabama and Auburn (though there’s always the random few that will cheer for a neighboring SEC team). A good chunk of the country hates us- our state boasts the last 3 consecutive National Champions (Alabama, Auburn, Alabama) and the SEC overall has held the title for 6 years.
I’m not originally from Alabama- I moved here just in time for college. So my pro-football loyalties lie with the Steelers, since I was born and raised in Pittsburgh. You may see a post for them at some point in the future. Never fear though, this isn’t a regular thing- it’ll just be one each during the regular season.
Anywho, on to nails!
If you’re interested in WHY I chose the specific colors and prints (I’ve had people from outside of the SEC/Alabama are inquire about houndstooth), just keep reading after the nail photos. If you don’t care, then you can stop after the nails!
For this look, I opted to do my first ever accent nail! I’m not really a huge fan of accent nails, but I think it worked this time.
I started off with a coat of Sinful Colors Slate on all but my index finger, and painted my index finger with Sinful Colors Snow Me White.
Then, I topped off each grey finger with 2 coats of Jindie Nails Crimson Pride– a glitter topcoat inspired by Alabama Football, filled with various shapes and sizes of red and white glitter as well as silver shimmer.
Finally, I pulled out my stamping plates, and used the houndstooth print on Cheeky’s CH8 from their spring collection on my index finger.
For the grey- you may have noticed the first photo in this post, our mascot the elephant posing the the big red A. Our mascot is Big Al, an elephant- so grey is for him! Don’t ask me why an elephant, I’m not even sure Alabama itself knows the REAL reason. There’s a few rumors- one involves the team running out and sounding like a herd of elephants.
Our colors are crimson red and white. However, you’ll almost always see Alabama fans sporting some sort of houndstooth- and this is why:
Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant is the legendary and well loved coach of Alabama football from 1958-1982. He was known for wearing a houndstooth hat, and so we wear houndstooth 🙂
You can find Jindie Nails here– she offers other football colors if you aren’t cool enough to cheer for Alabama (I kid! I kid! <3), among a lot of other awesome colors. Be sure to check back early next week- I have a big review coming on Jindie Nails!
Llarowe mentioned last night that today’s Brand of the Day would be HITS. When I saw this at like midnight I was sitting at the computer, bored- both kiddos are sick right now and the youngest was curled up on my lap trying unsuccessfully to sleep- so I decided to paint my nails with the only HITS polish I currently have, Cutie Pie. I had no other post planned for today, so why not?
I won’t lie, it makes me a little sad seeing all the beautiful swatches from other bloggers pour into Llarowe’s page. My poor nubbin nails just can’t show off the pretty polishes as well! Hopefully I can start growing them out soon… curse you acrylics! NEVER AGAIN.
As an added twist, I pulled out my Cheeky stamps and added some space images. This polish just seems space like to me! All pictures are 3 coats of Cutie Pie (2 would have been enough), and the stamps used O.P.I.’s DS Radiance. I used stamp plates CH4 and CH5.
And now to show off a bit of the color shift:
The HITS Mari Moon polishes (which Cutie Pie is a part of) are just amazingly beautiful polishes. The Mari Moon collection colors cost $8 each (for 6mL) on Llarowe’s site. Not a cheap purchase (from a dollar to mL standpoint), but they’re definitely worth splurging for when you can.
I hope everyone had a good weekend! Ours was ok… quiet, relaxing, but slightly boring. Back to the busy week!
Once again I’ll be starting off the week with a Mani Monday! As I sat down to work on this yesterday, I struggled with what to do- and then it hit me! I just recently ordered my very first stamping plates- Cheeky’s 2012 Collection bundle– and hadn’t used any yet!
When I say hadn’t used any- what I really mean is that I have never used a stamping plate- ever. I’d long drooled over designs that I saw people do with the plates but had never bought any. Laziness, again. Stamping plates aren’t something you can just pop into the drugstore and buy.
There are a lot of various brands you can buy stamping plates from- Konad (my stamper is from Konad), Bundle Monster, Cheeky, Red Angel, Shany, Mash… and many stores offer their own line. Ninjapolish.com offers some really interesting ones, Llarowe just announced that they’ll be carrying a line, and you can even find them on etsy, like at Vivid Lacquer’s store!
How cool is that, though? She makes her OWN stamping plates!
So back to the mani… One of the major designs I’d seen people do was a leopard print design… or more specifically, a NEON snow leopard design. Be still my neon-loving heart.
I honestly don’t remember the first place I saw this crop up, though I do have have Steffel’s post on it saved in Pinterest, so that’s the one I’m going to credit. She used the Bundle Monster plate, which is a little different than the Cheeky design.
For this, I used a base of Essie Marshmallow (can anyone suggest a good, plain white? My only one is Sinful Nails Snow White and I’m not a fan), Cult Nails Nevermore for stamping, Cheeky plate CH2, and my Konad stamper. I pictured the Konad scraper, but I ended up using an old gift card (I’ll explain below).
For the neon accents:
I have a lot of neon colors. I picked these out mostly for their brightness factor, but also because they seemed to work well together. From left to right: Sinful Colors Pink, China Glaze Sun Worshipper, Sinful Colors Neon Melon, Color Club What A Shock!, Color Club Pure Energy, and Color Club Ultraviolet. The last 3 are part of Color Club’s Electro Candy neon set from 2009, and I won’t lie- they’re by far my very favorite neons of every color- especially Ultraviolet. You can still find this collection (cheap) at Ross sometimes, and can definitely find it on Amazon.
I didn’t detail the stamping process. I had planned on it, but the photos my husband took just turned out terrible- I probably should’ve given him a clear cut list of how I wanted things, but I was working quickly with both kids screaming for dinner. Luckily, there’s a ton of amazing tutorials and videos all over the internet.
Basically, you paint over the design to be stamped on the plate, scrape off the excess (leaving paint in the design indentations), smoosh-roll (new word) the stamper across the design, and quickly roll it over your nail. Almost every nail blogger I’ve read suggests using an old credit card/gift card instead of the scraper included- and I 100% agree! I initially tried out Konad’s scraper, but was having absolutely no luck. It wasn’t getting all the excess paint off, and by the time I went over it again I’d lose paint in the design or the design would be dry. The first time I tried a gift card was the first time I had a successful stamp on my finger!
*SQUIRREL* moment incoming:
Did I mention my very favorite animal ever is a snow leopard? Has been since I was really little 🙂 We took the kids to the Chattanooga Zoo in September, and I was so excited to see the Snow Leopard was not only hanging out right by the glass… but she had a baby! They quickly became Syd’s favorite animal, too!
So here’s my nails without the neon accents, looking like lovely snow leopards:
Time for neon! To add the neon, I used toothpicks. I didn’t want to have to clean paint brushes, so I simply dipped the end of a toothpick into the color on the brush, and then dabbed it where I wanted it. After I finished all the colors, I added 1 coat of Poshe Fast Drying top coat.
As an afterthought, I threw on a topcoat of fine glitter. Because really, the only way to make neon better is to make it sparkle. Or am I the only one that thinks that??
I wanted the effect to be subtle (believe it or not), so I used the finest glitter I could find in my Helmer. This Avon glitter is simply called ‘Purple Glitter’ (yes, it used to be purple) and it’s from approximately 2003. I also have ‘Pink Glitter’ and sadly it looks the exact same as this one 9 years later. Proof that my nail polish hoarding began a long, long time ago 🙂
So there it is! I apologize for not having a thorough explanation this week, but I’ll be happy to answer any specific questions you may have- just leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you! See you all tomorrow for Try It On Tuesday! And if you haven’t hoped over to my Facebook page, please do! I love being able to interact with everyone!