imperfectlyperfect: Nails painted black with shiny black tips. (Nails (black manicure))
[personal profile] imperfectlyperfect
Victoriana (Butter) came in the same shipment as Dosh. I still think Butter is absurdly expensive, but they're really winning me around.

It's a greenish teal heavily permeated with silver shimmer that really gives it a rather old-fashioned (in a good way!) or "vintage" feel.

The formula is very good: thin, but not streaky or watery. Good opacity, even at one layer. This is two, but it lies as flat as one. It dries very fast. And, importantly, it did not stain when removed.

This is another of those polishes that I kept thinking I could or should do some nail art on it, but I couldn't bring myself to mark it up or possibly lose the color under anything else.

Though it's a rather understated polish, I really liked its quiet classiness. I feel like this is a "wacky" color that you could still get away with in a professional atmosphere.

On this day, I knew I wanted to do another rainbow manicure like the one I did back in October, but I didn't want to duplicate the colors.

While musing what colors to use, I came up with the idea of doing the rainbow in neutral colors of black, white & gray.

I decided to go with a bold pink background: OPI Conquistadorable Color, from OPI's 2009 Espana collection.

Conquistadorable Color is a thick, but not sludgy polish, almost opaque enough to be a one-coater. This is two coats. The formula is excellent, silky and with good leveling, dries to an AMAZING shine (this and the next couple pictures are without top coat). Dry time is average-slow.

I don't think I actually have another color like Conquistadorable Color, that so closely straddles the line between red and pink; though it's definitely pink in these pictures, once I started applying my rainbow, it definitely looked far more red.

And really, I couldn't get over the shine. It felt like almost a shame to cover it up.

For the rainbow, I used Zoya Raven (black), China Glaze Concrete Catwalk (dark gray), China Glaze Pelican Gray (light gray) and Zoya Purity (white), making the black arc the smallest and working out to the white.

If I had this to do over again, I think I would have alternated the bands between light and dark more: Raven on the inside, then Pelican Gray, then Concrete Catwalk, then Purity. Though this turned out in a way I liked, I was perpetually dissatisfied how much Raven and Concrete Catwalk blended together.

Of course, I'd also just like to have a more medium gray creme that falls between the darkness of Concrete Catwalk and the near-whiteness of Pelican Gray, so maybe if I'd had one, it would've also fixed my problems with the manicure. But as is, there just wasn't enough color differentiation. I also wasn't totally thrilled with the way Purity (which has otherwise been an AMAZING polish) kept dragging strings, so the dots had connecting stringers. ANNOYING.

Okay, so this story is for [personal profile] anonymous_sibyl. Look at my middle finger.

I was in the middle of doing the double line of Purity dots on that finger when I had a HUGE spasmic hand jerk. Splattered Purity ALL over the nail. RUINED.


But, instead of giving up and taking the manicure apart, I decided to see if I could creditably fix it first.

I took my medium striper brush and first painted more Conquistadorable Color over all the Purity splatters. I made some effort to avoid the (affected) dots, but not too much, because I knew I was going to re-do them all anyway. Then I broke out the dotter and redid all the splatted dots.

Now, obviously, because you're all staring at my middle finger, you can see where the Conquistadorable is a little lighter because of Purity and how some of the dots are a little misshapen because they're really double dots...but for as screwed up as the nail was, IT LOOKS GREAT. And no one from a distance would ever be able to tell.

So. I will say that yes, in all honesty, I have considerably improved in my ability to put on nail polish over the last...however many months it's been. But I also have just gotten better and smarter about cleaning up after myself when my shaky hands betray me and splatter polish in places it shouldn't go.

Sometimes I laugh at myself, sitting there with my little stiff brush and my cap full of nail polish remover...but when I'm done, I never regret the time I spent cleaning up my manicure, because it looks that little bit better and makes ME feel that little bit better for having such a pretty manicure (even with all my blunders).

Anyway. My dissatisfaction with the blending of Raven and Concrete Catwalk kept me from enjoying this manicure as much as I might have otherwise, but I think it turned out okay.

Haven't given up on the rainbow. :)

So this manicure did not photograph as well as I would like it to have...though, the photographs still look lovely, don't get me wrong. But the manicure was SO MUCH LOVELIER.

I knew I wanted to do a gradient and I knew I wanted it to be orange. Orange, sadly, is a color I don't have much of and the oranges I have are not all opaque enough to work well as a gradient. But I finally singled out Lilacquer Roo-Bee Rhod, a pale gold-orange, Kleancolor Boogie Nights, a shimmery mid-range orange and OPI Deutsche You Want Me Baby?, a paprika red-orange.

This second picture shows the gradient effect better; I went light at the base and darker toward the tip. Over the gradient, I layered Essie Gold As It Gets, that antique gold leafy top coat I used before, and Inglot 202, a red/orange/green flakie polish.

Note: Inglot also has 203, a yellow/green/purple leaning flakie and 204, a blue/purple/green leaning flakie, and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND all of them. They do WONDERFUL things for every manicure I've added them to. They're kind of pricey ($10/each) for the size of the bottle, but as they're just a top coat, you'll get lots of use out of them and they're really worth it.

You can kind of see the gradient here, too, how pale Roo-Bee Rhod is, at the nail base, and the two flakie polishes give it this gorgeous antiqued look.

I love gradients so much; they're so versatile and no two are exactly the same and there's pretty much infinite combinations to put together. And they're EASY. I'd like to try this one again with an even deeper red-orange at the tip, but I adored how this one turned out.

...and that takes us through December 6th.
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imperfectlyperfect: Close-up of fingernails painted dark purple with white nail art. (Default)

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