imperfectlyperfect: Close up of fingernails painted green, black & gold. (nails (Loki))
[personal profile] imperfectlyperfect
In the interests of playing catch-up, a few different manicures.

1. Winter Wonderland

As in my previous post, I did a certain amount of experimenting with manicures that look WINTRY without looking like they're specifically holiday related. I saw a manicure similar to this one somewhere on the internet (sadly, I no longer remember where, and I don't think I saved it to pinterest) and decided to work up my own version.

I started with another Lime Crime 'dessert' polish, Milky Ways:



I've worn Milky Ways many time before; it and Zoya Purity are the best white polishes I've come across so far. But where Purity is a stark white, I wanted the warmer, creamy white of Milky Ways. Milky Ways is the only one of the Lime Crime polishes that routinely needs 3 coats instead of two, but it dries quickly and three coats isn't excessively thick.



I have a number of iridescent type polishes (and will acquire many more before I'm through, I'm sure, because I LOVE THEM) but this was all for the 30 Days of Indies, so I decided to go with a newer favorite, Lilacquer Gluon Nails.



It was a good choice! Gluon Nails refracts into a lot of different pastel colors that go really well with the warmth of Milky Ways. It's not too on the nose reminiscent of snowfall/snowflakes, but the relationship is there. It's timeless enough, while still being season appropriate.



And a little closer. You can really see how colorful Gluon Nails is, from shot to shot, but from a distance, it's more of a generalized twinkle, when I move my hands. Just what I wanted!



2. Being Disciplined.

I have really fallen head over heels for gray polishes this year. They're such cool, interesting neutrals, easy to dress up or dress down, warm up or cool down, and they generally look great against my skin tone.

Cult Nails Disciplined is no exception.



When I first unwrapped Disciplined, I was really afraid it would turn out to be a dupe of Butter's Lady Muck. They're both grays with a bluish/silvery glitter/shimmer to them. But after a brief swatching comparison:



You can see they're really nothing alike. Lady Muck is a bluer, colder, more slaty gray, and Disciplined is a warmer, more elephant gray, with blue sparkles.



At one coat, Disciplined, which is a very watery/thin/sheer polish can barely be seen on the nail, whereas Lady Muck is much more there.



At two coats, Lady Muck is already opaque, and we're just now starting to get a glimpse of Disciplined. (If my nails look a different length, it's because they are; the 2 coat & 3 coat picture were taken today, while the 1 coat was from Nov 27)



And, at three coats of Disciplined, it's mostly opaque, but there's still some VNL. In that sense, it's good that Disciplined is such a thin polish, because three (or four) layers are just as thin as two coats of a thicker polish, but Disciplined also doesn't dry particularly fast, so it will take you a while to build up to full opacity.



That being said, Disciplined is a beautiful color. You can see that blue/purple sparkle that's so prominent in the bottle does translate to the nail, and the need for multiple layers gives the polish a dreamy, cloud-like quality that I also like.



Bottom line: though I really love the color of Disciplined, it's kind of a disappointment. The formula is watery, flooding, hard to work with and requires 3-4 coats, but doesn't dry fast enough to make that need painless as it should be. As well, the need to use so much for a single manicure means you're going through the polish very quickly.



The same day I was trying out Disciplined, I got a shipment of some Zoya polishes that I'd gotten on sale. I thought the sparkly blue of Zoya Charla might go nicely with the blue/purple sparkle of Disciplined, so I taped off and did diagonal bands of Charla across my tips. (speaking of the slow dry time, you can see the wrinkle on my thumb left from the tape, because Disciplined wasn't quite dry)



Charla is very similar to Ivanka (probably because they're from the same collection); a very glittery metallic foil, but where Charla is a rather emerald green, Charla is a peacock blue. Look at that sparkle!



And, as I thought, Charla and Disciplined are a match made in heaven; Charla really brought out that opal shimmer in Disciplined. The formula on Charla is also heavenly; this is one coat, it flowed smooth, even and opaque and peeled away with no problems, drying quickly.



I had thought to maybe put a second band below Charla, but I gouged the Disciplined part of the nail badly, and there was no amount of licking or painting over that was going to fix it, so I ended up having to take it all off. And, at that point, I didn't feel like messing around further with Disciplined's slow dry time, so I moved on.

But. The following photos are from a few days later, when I decided to give Disciplined another try.



I really love jelly sandwiches (when you combine a glitter polish between layers of sheer polish)...but I haven't been so great at putting together really good ones, so far. Firstly, I don't have a lot of sheer polishes and secondly, I just haven't put together great combinations, but I really like this one.



This is Kleancolor Afternoon Picnic sandwiched between layers of Disciplined (2 below and one on top). Afternoon Picnic is (obviously) a multicolor hex glitter of various sizes, including some pretty sizeable silver hexes.



Kleancolor polishes tend to be even more stinky than regular polish and Afternoon Picnic was no exception. And, as with most big glitter polishes, it took some dabbing and finessing to get good spread across the nail. For as large as some of the hexes are, though, they did lay very flat and though I ended up breaking out the Seche Vite to smooth out the bumps, I didn't have any problems with curling glitter or sharp spiky bits sticking up.



I really like multicolored glitters like Afternoon Picnic, but I find it hard to find ways to use them that don't end up feeling weirdly juvenile to me; I really liked how the neutral gray of Disciplined kind of cooled out that Crayola quality and instead gave it an almost machine-like steampunk feel to me, while not really losing any of its color.

Sadly, the many layers and slow dry time of Disciplined meant that it started to pull back from my nail edge, and I had really ugly edgewear after several hours, which meant this manicure lasted no time at all, but I did really like it while it lasted.

As a side note: I feel like Cult Nails is one of those brands that I want to like more than I actually DO like; Maria, the founder, produces some amazing, 'gotta have it' colors, and I love supporting indie companies, especially ones run by and for women, but I have not loved the formulas on most of the polishes I've bought. Thicker can be thinned, but there's not much you can do about a polish that starts out so incredibly thin and I find it kind of finicky to keep it from flooding the sides and being too thick there, and bald in the middle. I haven't tried her Wicked Fast top coat, but the dry time on her polishes themselves is rather disappointingly slow, and I end up borking a lot of my manicures because I thought it would be dry and it really, really wasn't. I also don't really like her bottles. Though I've come to appreciate round bottles (easily rolled) over square ones that have to be shaken (and then possibly bubble on the nail), there always comes a point where the plastic stopper that holds the brush comes loose from the black handle/cap and I have to rescrew it on, and then unscrew it to get the cap back together. SO I don't know.

But she does make really lovely colors.



And then finally:

3. Zuza.

After I took off the Disicplined Charla combo, I was feeling very impatient, but I still wanted to give my new Zoyas a try, so I picked up Zuza.



Zuza is from the 2012 Beach collection. It's a GORGEOUS teal (I love teal!) with fine, flat silvery glitter mixed through it. Seriously, there's nothing I can say that Zuza doesn't say for itself.



The formula is great (Zoya is very consistent on that front, best of any of the companies I've tried); this is two coats, neither too thick or thin, the flow is even and easily controllable, it levels well and dries fast. Zoya has quickly become my favorite company, NGL.






The downside of Zuza, however, is it STAINS.





I don't habitually use base coat, but I definitely will, if I use Zuza again, because it wasn't just a case of blue around my cuticles, it was staining on the nail plate.

However!

I did google ways to get out nail staining and it suggested that I try using a whitening toothpaste and scrub my nails (GENTLY) with that and an old toothbrush...and the staining came right out!



Caveat: The staining from Zuza was very light. I used this same technique a few days later on much worse staining from a different polish and it was not nearly as successful...but it does remove a fair amount of staining. So. Take that as you will.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-12-15 11:47 pm (UTC)
rivers_bend: (rainbow falls)
From: [personal profile] rivers_bend
so many great manicures! I just took off my polish this morning and am now much more looking forward to doing something fun this evening after dinner. :D :D

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imperfectlyperfect: Close-up of fingernails painted dark purple with white nail art. (Default)
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