Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Heroes vs Villains #1: Mystique

So I'm sure that by now everyone has heard of the Heroes vs Villains challenge Nailasaurus posted about yesterday. As soon as I saw that post, I had to take part.

Week 1 is Marvel themed. When I was a kid, one of my favorite cartoons was X-Men, so for this one I picked two of my favorite characters from that world.

I started with my usual prep work* ( Natural Nail Growth Activator and Diamond Strength Instant Nail hardener), with one addition. My cuticles have been driving me nuts for the last few weeks, so I broke down and got something to help treat them. Target didn't have a lot of options, though, so I went with the Maximum Growth Cuticle Pen. I've only used it once so far, but I'll let you know how I like it once I've had it a little longer.

For the base of the nails, I did my pinky, middle, and thumb with Insta-Dri in Blue By! (1 coat), and my ring and index fingers in Hard as Nails Xtreme wear #300 White On (2 coats). On my ring fingers, I used a watermarble technique to illustrate her transformative power. It was my first time trying it, and while it didn't come out the way I wanted I still think it's pretty cool. Clean up is a bitch, though.

The eyes are the tiniest dabs of Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Mellow Yellow, Mystique's hair is a coat of Pure Ice "Siren" over a coat of White On, since I forgot to mask that bit off at the start. I just used Scotch tape cut to size for the masking. For the details on her dress, I used a Claire's Nail Design Pen (black). I finished everything off with a coat of my Diamond Strength clear coat (two, on the index fingers. The nail pens don't have a lot of staying power, even with a top coat).

I really loved the Insta-Dri polish. This was my first time using it and I really like the way it came out. It was a great, fast drying, single coat polish, and it was exactly the right shade for what I wanted to do.

Overall, I'm pleased with this manicure, but I wish I'd been able to come up with two more designs to replace the stripes with. I might still change out the pinkies once my brain isn't fried from being at work all day.

*All of the products I used for this manicure are by Sally Hansen, except for the Pure Ice "Siren."

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