This week I tried out lots of new things for my manicure! First, a gradient - fading from teal to dark blue. I used Orly "It's Up to Blue" for the teal and Color Club "Cold Metal" for the darker blue.
The easiest way to blend the colors in the center is with a make-up sponge. Of the best tutorials I've seen, one has you lay the polish out on a surface first & then sponge it on, while the other has you paint the polish directly onto the sponge. I'm not sure which method I prefer because apparently I picked a finicky polish for sponging!...
The dark blue has a silvery sheen, and when I started sponging it looked as if the blue color was getting soaked up in the sponge, leaving only the silver behind! At that point I just started sponging the colors separately, doing whatever I could to make it look decent, and luckily any rough transitions were hid by the stamping. And wouldn't you know - when I put on topcoat the blue reappeared in the silvery sections anyway! (grumble, grumble)
The second thing I tried out were my new(ish) stamping plates! I bought the Cheeky 2012 Summer plates back in September, but didn't get a chance to use them for a while with all of the fun holidays back-to-back (being released in the summer, these plates don't have any winter holiday designs). I was a little worried because the one time I did try them - a tiny butterfly accent I was stamping on a friend's nail - we apparently picked a bum plate and I could not get a good stamp. But as you can see these plates work great! I used plate CH38 with Pure Ice "Silver Mercedes" for all the nails pictured here. I also accented the thumb, middle, and pinky nail with my new silver hex glitter from Born Pretty.
The best thing about these Cheeky plates - larger full nail patterns! Both my thumb and middle finger are too wide for the standard pattern size, so I'd pretty much given up on stamping full patterns until I could find something larger. These plates managed to mostly cover my gigantic thumbnail, leaving only the bottom tip bare (which I easily filled in). It was so nice to not have to worry so much about lining everything up precisely - I didn't re-do a single stamp.
These nails were inspired by a visiting friend who works at the Ga Aquarium and they were a hit! When she saw them she wanted her nails painted the same way. :)