#PAAManiSwap: Stained Glass Nails

This week, the Polish-Aholics Anonymous facebook group hosted a Mani Swap for members that felt like trading around.  I'm always game for new stuff, so sign a girl up!

My partner for this adventure is Melissa - check out her instagram @liss_929.  I had an absolute blast scrolling through all of Melissa's looks and could NOT pick just one (cutting it down to 2 or 3 was a real challenge!) - she does a whole lot of talented free handing and other techniques that I've never tried, so this was a super opportunity to get out of my usual comfort zone and try something new.

First up, I went with this super fun geometric stained glass look:

Melissa on the left and me on the right
Now, since I don't have her kind of freehand skills, my manis are interpretations and riffs on her art rather than a straight copy, with the major difference being that I'm stamping that business.

window-filtered daylight
I found a great staggered/irregular rectangle pattern on STZ-B9 that looked just like an Arts & Crafts type stained glass window, and laid that over only basecoat in my trusty NanaCoco Love Black.  I then painted a framing line around the whole outer edge of each nail (OMG is that a bear!!  How do people do this freehand thing?!, then filled in a few of the panes using Essie and OPI sheer jelly tints.
direct sunlight
As though by fate, just a day before I was ready to try this, I received a sample of Glitter Daze Super Smooth Matte topcoat, and WOOOOWWWWW!  This works infinitely better than my cheap drugstore matte, being both utterly flat to the light and completely free of streaks or clumps.  Super easy to work with and works super well? Yeah, I'll be snagging a whole bottle of that.

Melissa's gorgeous design got me tons of compliments, including several people saying "wow, your nails look like stained glass!"  Since that's what we were going for, awesome!  I tend to focus on swatching and wearing all my untrieds, enough so that I never get around to actually playing with the possibilities of my polish collection.  This mani swap was super fun!

~Michelle

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