imperfectlyperfect: Close-up of fingernails painted dark purple with white nail art. (Default)
[personal profile] imperfectlyperfect
This is a manicure I didn't really appreciate until after the fact. I blame it on the fact that I was kind of unhappy with the base polish, A England's Tess D'urbervilles.

For the record, I do like A England as a brand. I adore Dragon and St. George, in particular, and I recently acquired a couple more that I haven't tried yet. But for me, the Gothic Beauties collection (Jane Eyre, Lady of Shallott and now, Tess D'Urbervilles) is rather disappointing.

What I didn't realize, when I bought the 3 Gothic Beauty polishes that I own, is that they're black polishes with colored sparkle; in TD'U's case, black with a rather poison green sparkle. This is one of the places where I feel like nail bloggers pictures can be deceiving, because they're often macro shots taken in high/strong lighting. Which, on the one hand, does show the polish at its best advantage. But it gives you a really false idea of what it's going to look like on the nail.

I mean, you can see the greenish overtones here, but they're not nearly as vivid or lovely as it looks in the shots I've seen by bloggers, and from any distance, your nails just look black. I don't mind subtlety, per se, but this is just TOO subtle for me.

Like the other Gothic Beauties, this is 1.5 coats; it's not quite thick enough for a single coat, but it just needs a quick second lavish with the brush on the nail tips for opacity. However, I did feel this dried slightly slower than Jane Eyre or Lady of Shallott. These pictures are without top coat, iirc.

The formula is good; I haven't had a bad experience with A England's formulas. Thick but not sludgy, easily controlled and guided, excellent flow and leveling. They're very consistent on that front. I don't think I had to do much clean up, but as you can see, it didn't leave any of that sooty residue in my cuticles that so many black polishes do.

But I was disappointed. So, in an effort to turn my frown upside down, I decided to do something over Tess D'urbervilles. I love gradients and I love dots and I'd been musing over doing a metallic gradient, so I decided to go with that.

I used the Essie Mirror Metallics for my dots: No Place Like Chrome at the cuticle end, Good as Gold in the middle and Penny talk at the free edge.

I did my dots a little differently than normal; instead of just randomly doing large and small dots, I randomly placed large dots and then did smaller dots in 'orbits' around the larger dots, generally in the same color as the larger dot. I really liked how that looked and I'll have to try that technique again.

I feel like the whole thing came out with a really pleasing steampunky type look and though I worried that the ombre from light to dark was too subtle, I liked the overall effect. I also felt as though the presence of the metallics brought out the green on Tess D'Ubervilles.

So, it's a beautiful manicure. And I can see that, NOW. But, at the time, I was so bitterly disappointed about Tess D'urbervilles, that I don't think I could really appreciate the overall manicure and I ended up taking it off rather quickly...something I regretted pretty much as soon as I'd done it. *sighs*

But, the great thing about nail polish is that you can always redo a look you love, right?

I buy my A England polishes through Llarowe, but if you're in the UK, you can buy from them direct: here. At Llarowe, they retail for about $10 each.
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imperfectlyperfect: Close-up of fingernails painted dark purple with white nail art. (Default)

March 2013

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