Thursday, October 20, 2011

11 Week Challenge: Week 1 Mani

Hello Lab Partners!

We're participating in an eleven week mani challenge here at The Polish Lab. This week's challenge is to do a mani inspired by your favorite cause. I have several causes dear to my heart, and one of those happens to be The National Breast Cancer Foundation. Like many families, mine has a history of breast cancer, including a recent diagnosis of this disease in a male family member. As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this was the perfect time to do something I rarely do: paint my nails pink. It's not that I don't like pink; it's just that it clashes with my red hair, so I don't wear it often. And yes, I realize it's neurotic to worry about my nails clashing with my hair.

I started my Week 1 Challenge Mani with a base color of Ulta Salon Formula Baby Doll, a very pale cream pink. I recently purchased several Ulta polishes, but I hadn't used any before trying Baby Doll. I've heard conflicting opinions on Ulta polish, so I was unsure what to expect. My experience with this polish can be summed up in a single word: YUCK. The first coat of Baby Doll applied unevenly, dragging on the nail and streaking. I hoped that the second coat would smooth out the unevenness and streaks, but it actually applied worse than the first coat! It dragged worse, tended to bubble, and left visible brush strokes. Credit for any evenness whatsoever goes to Posche top coat:

Ulta Salon Formula Baby Doll. Inside, artificial light. Unevenness, streaking, visible brush strokes
At this point, I faced a dilemma: did I want to go forward with the mani I had planned--a two-toned chevron French--or remove Baby Doll and go back to square one. I compromised: I went forward with my mani but with a change. I decided that a regular French tip combined with a bit of art across the nail might cover enough of the bubbles, brush stroaks, and uneveness for me to tolerate the Baby Doll base. So I sponged the tips with Color Club Poptastic, a neon pink, then applied Big Ruby nail tattoos to cover a bit more of that horrid base color. I adore Big Ruby tattoos. They couldn't be any easier to apply! They're a great way to spice up a mani quickly, without stamping or free-handing.

Tips sponged with Color Club Poptastic. Big Ruby Nail tattoos. Inside, artificial light

To further distract from the unevenness of Baby Doll, I applied a coat of Butter London Frilly Knickers, my absolute favorite micro-glitter. Frilly Knickers sounds like its name--its nothing if not girlie and delicate:

With addition of Butter London Frilly Knickers, Inside with flash

Overall, I'm not as dissatisfied with this mani as I feared I might be. I'm enjoying the pop of pink for a change, and the bright tips and lines draw my eye away from the many imperfections of Baby Doll.

If you'd like the join us in the 11 Week Challenge, please see our post containing more info, including a list of the weekly prompts. Feel free to post photos of your challenge manis on our FB page.

Until next time, sending lab love!



  1. WOW!! How long did the whole thing take? They look awesome!!

  2. I am loving this!! Not the pink part-but the design is awesome!

  3. TroublesomeYogini (how great is that name?!)--Thanks! I did them in stages. All in all, probably about 90 mins. Maybe a little longer. Would've been much shorter if the base color had been decent!

    Fingers--yeah, pink isn't usually my thing, but it's not bad for a change. Glad you like the design! Thank you!

    Ace--Thanks, partner! I try. ;)

    You all are fast today! I just got this post up a few minutes ago!

  4. I think they look pretty darned good, considering what you were working with-bubbles(Grrr) and dragging(yuck)! Your magic Lab Touch is simply wonderful!!
    Debbie ; )

  5. Allison this mani is awesome! I love it! Thanks for reminding me about the 11 week challenge! ;D

  6. Debbie, Courtni, and Emily--thanks, ladies! Glad you like it. I was really doubtful that it would turn out even semi-decent, considering how horribly the base color applied!

    Emily--I look forward to seeing your challenge manis! ;)

  7. I think it is adorable! Great cause too! I should have joined this challenge haah!

  8. Amy--thank you! It's not too late to join--week one goes through Sunday! ;)

  9. Thanks, Marketta! I guess since you're a pink polish addict, this one is right up your alley! ;)