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

Well, look: )

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

Like a queen. )

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.

Like something out of a science fiction movie. )

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.

The flame. )

...and that takes us through December 6th.
imperfectlyperfect: Text: I like being weird. Weird's all I've got, that and my sweet style (Sweet Style)
Another mixed bag of manicures. Seriously, this feels like some kind of archaeological reconstruction. I know these pictures represent from Nov 28 to Dec 3, but as they're copies from Carbonite, the metadata that told me what day these pictures were taken on no longer exists. They're all marked whatever day I redownloaded them from Carbonite. But THEN, I remember I can use my Instagram account as a calendar to tell me what day I posted which manicure.


Anyway. Along with Charla and Zuza, I also got Zoya Jem, a gorgeous duochrome that shifts purple, burgundy, brown, with hints of gold.

Truly Outrageous (bonus points if you catch that reference) )

Next, we have another Lilacquer Fifth Element polish: Zorg Industries.

Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg. )

When Cult Nails came out with their Behind Closed Doors collection, Coveted was one of the polishes I was most looking forward to.

You might say I coveted it. Ha! )

I ended up wearing A England's Lady of Shallott because, just as I was about to do my nails, my husband asked me out to the movies and I didn't want to go out naked (yes, that's what we've come to *sighs*) but I didn't have time to do something fancy or that was going to take a long time to dry.

Milady. )

And then last, but not at all least, we reach my favorite manicure of this period. This one, I liked so much, I actually gave it a name:

Last Ember on a Cold Night. )
imperfectlyperfect: Nails painted black with shiny black tips. (Nails (black manicure))
Having gotten the palate cleanser I wanted with the Lime Crime pastels, I then decided I did want to try and do something warm and autumn/wintery...but without invoking Christmas.

I leave it to you to decide how well I succeeded:

Manicure for a Cold, Winter's Night. )
imperfectlyperfect: Close-up of fingernails painted dark purple with white nail art. (Default)
Man, what a mess. So I got all my pictures back pretty painlessly, but the way my back up service saves them, I ended up with doubles of some pictures and I still haven't unraveled everything. But with the help of my posts on Instagram, I think I've figured out where I left off.

These are all colors you've seen before. I think I mentioned it before, but I have an inexplicable abhorrence about wearing anything that's too Christmassy (IDEK), and it's the time of year where almost everything looks holiday-ish, so I decided to go in the opposite direction: summery pastels.

Lime Crime's Les Desserts d'Antoinette collection was perfect for the job.

Time for Dessert! )

Bonus Manicure: This is Flushed, from the Cult Nails Behind Closed Door Collection:

Flushed )
imperfectlyperfect: A woman in a purple a-line dress (Clothes (purple dress))
Pretty Serious is both an indie company and an import; it's a small but burgeoning company in Australia. I first saw their polishes on Scrangie's blog. I rather hilariously didn't realize that the company was Australian--until I was paying for the collection I was buying--but I have to was TOTALLY WORTH the extra dough on the conversion rate (damn you, weak American dollar!). The entire collection I bought (Into the Night) is incredibly lovely.

In the end, the answer was a Stroke of Brilliance. )
imperfectlyperfect: Close up of fingernails painted green, black & gold. (nails (Loki))
I'm still not entirely certain how I feel about this manicure. I like it, but I'm not IN LOVE with it. But I'd like to experiment with it again, possibly in different colors.

Read more... )

I think I'd like to try it with non-pink colors but try the gold tip and Gilty again. Maybe with a deep dark blue, see if I can get an antique mirror look? IDK. I think Essie Dive Bar, a new color, might look great for that purpose.
imperfectlyperfect: Text: I like being weird. Weird's all I've got, that and my sweet style (Sweet Style)
It becomes something of a Catch-22. Each manicure is between 2-5 pictures...but if I miss a day of posting, that starts to add up. And I get lazy.

Right now, I have a backlog of around 40 pictures. I'm not going to subject you to all of them in one post, but I gotta get started, because the backlog ain't getting no smaller!

Pink Manicure 10. )

I was so tired I don't even remember what color I used for the dark pink. But I smudged Pure Ice's Cheatin' glitter across the tip and graded it up the nail. Cheatin' is beautiful in the bottle, intense purple and blue microglitter in a clear base, but it was difficult to work with and I feel like it just looked dirty on the nail. The shine didn't really transfer. I'll try it with something else, see if I like it better, but this manicure just didn't do it for me. It was what it was: a place filler.

Pink Manicure 11. )

Pink Manicure 11.5. )

Pink Manicure 12. )

Pink Manicure 12.5. )

Pink Manicure 13. )

Pink Manicure 14. )

I know that I went for the short version of all these manicuresand I keep using the same colors over and over, so I do't know how much to say about each of them.

Somewhere in here, I switched from using Out The Door top coat to the next one I'm trying out, China Glaze's Fast Forward. I'm not especially fond of this one. Firstly, it has a strong odor that I don't like, rather like artifical grape & wet stone combined. Secondly, I don't feel like it dries or cures as fast as Seche Vite or Out The Door. I've had so many more nail flubs in the past week than I'm used to because my nails weren't as dry as I thought they'd be. I don't think it adds much shine, either. Which is not a deal breaker, but is certainly not a benefit. Thickness wise, it's not as thick as Seche Vite, but comparably thick to Out the Door.

And a final note about dots/dotting: on the one hand, I tend to be impatient, so I'm sure I'm putting on my top coat before the dots are fully dry. On the other hand, it would seem that some top coats just have a tendency to smear when you use them, regardless of how long you wait. *shrugs*

I'll try to get up manicures 15-21 tomorrow. Man, I am going to be SO OVER pink when this is all done. But it's been fun and interesting at the same time.
imperfectlyperfect: Close-up of fingernails painted dark purple with white nail art. (nails (Hawkeye))
This first manicure is from a collection that I've been meaning to--and have failed--to show you. They're from an Australian indie company called Pretty Serious. I heard about them through one of the nail blogs I follow and, though I was kind of nervous about buying an entire collection from a company I'd never dealt with before, but it's been absolutely worth it. The formulas are great, the colors have incredible intensity and depth and they've just been a pleasure to work with.

This is the manicure I wore for the flight out:

Gradient: Nightopia & Into Dreams. )

Day 2 of the trip, I was just kind of tired and I hadn't brought anything that would go super well with the red dress I'd be wearing, so I went simple: Daul, by Zoya.

Daul )

Day 3 I had more energy and the time to be a little creative. Inspired by the cloudy day outside the window, I decided to give a cloud manicure another try. This one was much more successful than my first try.

Cloud Manicure: Trophy Wife, Pelican Gray & Caitlin. )

Saturday was my grandma's birthday party, so it was important for me to look my best. I wanted to try a fishtail braid manicure, but the colors I'd brought and my own unfamiliarity with the technique means my sample nail didn't turn out so well. But, what I did like is the way it looked when I did a simple criss-cross over the nails. So that's what I did:

Party nails: Reclaim, Wallis & Trustafarian )

And that was my trip. I will try to get those swatch posts up, and my post-trip pink manicures.
imperfectlyperfect: A woman holding a credit card; text: she had made yet another wise shopping decision (Another Wise Shopping Decision)
Today I asked my husband to give me a color. He said, "Brown." I don't actually have a lot of brown polishes, so I chose the first untried on my list, Street Chic, by China Glaze:

Your Potions Master's Nails. )

After a lot of dissatisfying experiments with polish this week, this felt like an unqualified success. \0/

(Crowstoes can be purchased through the indie marketplace Llarowe; the polish maker has a blog, too, The Polished Crow.)
imperfectlyperfect: Close-up of fingernails painted dark purple with white nail art. (Default)
So last night I was trawling tumblr's nail art tag. As you do. Completely aside from looking for inspiration for myself, I like seeing the interesting, crazy and sometimes puzzling things other people do to/for their nails. It's an education.

Anyway, I ran across this manicure, which reminds me of the glazing on some Chinese cups I'd bought for my mom once upon a time, and I decided to see if I could duplicate it for myself. It's a gradient, which I've already done once (twice) to reasonable success and it brought in the new skill of trying to free-hand painted lunulas over the gradient. Cool.

Free-handing: not for chickens. )
imperfectlyperfect: Close up of fingernails painted green, black & gold. (nails (Loki))
Yesterday, I was thinking about the contradictions of nail polish enthusiasm. On the one hand, it's a collector's biz. Limited edition colors, seasonal collections, new finishes and effects. There's always something new to acquire, something coveted, something rare. There's a real sense of triumphant pleasure at acquiring that polish/color you've spent days or weeks or months trying to find.

At the same time, nail polish is a perishable commodity. It's not enough to just have a polish; the pleasure is in using it. And even if you don't use it, it's life is limited. Polishes thicken and separate, become useless and inert.

So the constant desire to acquire is balanced by the knowledge that ownership is a limited window.

I was thinking about this because I'm starting to branch out into nail art and, by and large, it involves pouring polish from the bottle to give you a pool to work from and...I'm struggling with that. There's a wastefulness implied that doesn't appeal to me and I'm having a hard time contemplating using up some of my favorite polishes doing it. It's inevitable: I need to either use the polishes or let them go to waste through entropy and I'd definitely prefer to use them and get some pleasure from them than let them dry up, unused. But it's a struggle.

Anyway. This is a roundabout way of saying that I tried my first sponge gradient manicure today. And my second. :)

Fun with sponges! )

Sadly, shortly after finishing all this up, I was felled by a hellacious migraine and spent the rest of the day sleeping, which meant the only person who got to appreciate my pretty nails is me (the husband saw them but, let's face it, he doesn't appreciate).


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

March 2013

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