Or at least Kitty’s iconic bow and glasses. Wait, does Kitty even wear glasses? No, I’ve seen her wear glasses. So does her boyfriend, Daniel. And I *may* have just spent a bit too long contemplating the eye wear choices of two cartoon cats!
Leadlighting is the new-to-me nail art technique I tried with these nails. Leadlighting, a relative of stamping, is meant to look like stained glass windows – vibrant, slightly diffuse colours trapped within a decorative “lead” frame. Sheer jelly polishes really prove their worth in leadlighting, too, enhancing and brightening up an overall design without obscuring the stamping work. For these nails, I stamped a bows-and-glasses design from my Hello Kitty image plate (Fab Ur Nails FUN number 9) over top of a basic white creme. After giving that plenty of time to dry (I’ve found that unless you give your stamped design ample dry time, it will smudge and smear, destroying the effect AND your mani) I then filled in the bows with a detail brush dipped in an assortment of rainbow-hued jellies. If you’re at all familiar with cookie flooding or, more simply, colouring in a colouring book, leadlighting works exactly the same way – you create a border of sorts out of the stamped design and then fill it in with your coloured polishes. Really super easy, and very cool.
Humblebrag? This is my very first attempt at stamping. Prior to this I’ve tried the technique out on maybe two test nails before dismissing it altogether – too imprecise, too fussy and too messy for something I could probably free-hand just as well. But on the opposite end of the humblebrag spectrum, I’ll note that my free-handing skills are not always totally up to snuff, particularly when it comes to branded characters like our gal Hello Kitty here (depicted as the Punisher; husband’s choice.) In those cases, I’ve got zero problem seeking out a little pre-etched help, and so I decided to finally take a run at this stamping business. And you know what? It wasn’t bad or difficult at all, and being well organized right from the start kept things neat and tidy. Plus, how cute is Punisher Kitty on my thumb, nestled among that argyle bow design on my fingers? Brutally cute!
But there’s a little more than meets the eye with this manicure, so let’s take it from the top! The base polish I used here is actually a jelly sandwich manicure I created by layering Mentality Nail Polish’s purple glaze with Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure in Cheery on Top, a pink, turquoise and purple glitter (which is itself a dupe of OPI’s Polka.Com.)
Once that dried, I set about stamping, using just a basic, $5.00 scraper and transfer set I purchased from Nail Polish Canada and this Hello Kitty image plate from Fab Ur Nails I bought from Llarowe (which is in the midst of a major restructuring, whittling their stocklist down to just two in-house brands, so no more Hello Kitty plates, regrettably.)
For the stamping itself, I used a favourite sparkly silver, OPI’s My Signature is “DC”, which is very opaque and transferred quite beautifully. I didn’t have any problems with the stamping, but my centering work could definitely use a bit of, uh, work. Except for Punisher Kitty (one of about a dozen superhero Kitties on plate number 9) who is leveling her stone cold vigilante’s gaze at me directly from the centre of my thumb. Still, for a (nearly) first time effort, this is pretty tremendous. So expect this unexpected run of stamping good luck to NEVER happen again!