imperfectlyperfect: A woman in a purple a-line dress (Clothes (purple dress))
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Though I don't honestly expect that I'm going to raise anyone's awareness, I decided I wanted to try and do a month's worth of pink manicures. I don't know if I'll succeed, but just the action of doing it has given me a sense of comfort and solidarity.

Six Days of Pink. )

I feel like this project is being good for me in a few different ways. I do have a feeling of connectedness, of being part of something larger that I don't think I've ever had, in relation to cancer. I spent a lot of my cancer time defining and having illuminated all the ways I was RADICALLY DIFFERENT from everyone else, both in how I dealt with my cancer and in how the various medications and side effects affected me. So this is a new thing and it's a...IDK. A reminder that this is something that has affected me, at a very personal level. And then, at the other end, it's something very life-affirming and creative, to bring beauty out of something that has otherwise affected me so negatively. It's a mental exercise to work with a single color (albeit in many shades) and come up with something different each time. Like I said above, I don't know if I can realistically come up with 31 different pink manicures. But I will enjoy the hell out of trying.

"I was very against pink and purple when I was young, because they were girls' colors. But that was only because I didn't want people to write me off for what I can do. When I got into my 20s, I decided that was stupid. " ~Danica Patrick
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 in a purple a-line dress (Clothes (purple dress))
I've gotten a number of new polishes recently and I took pictures of them and did some swatches on my fingernails, but trying to get that organized and written up (and failing at it) has been delaying me from posting ANYTHING, so I'm just going to post some manicures and then hopefully I'll get back to the swatch posts.

VERY IMAGE INTENSIVE. )
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: Text: I like being weird. Weird's all I've got, that and my sweet style (Sweet Style)
I tried out Butter's Snog. It's a dark raspberry pink creme. I liked it fine. Like Slapper, it has a nice, smooth formulation, it's color true from bottle to nail, it dries pretty quickly and to a nice hard shine.

Snog. )

I was going to be wearing a red dress, so I decided to go with Cult Nail's Annalicious, a beautiful bright red with a lot of intense gold shimmer. The shimmer doesn't show up as well in the picture, but trust me it's there:

Annalicious. )

After failing with Orly's It's a Meteor layered over Germanicure, I wanted to give it another chance to shine and I thought it might go better against a brighter color, so I layered it over the Annalicious:

Iron Man. )

At lunch with the ladies, [livejournal.com profile] beanside & [livejournal.com profile] nilchance surprised me with one of the colors off my wish list, Sinful's Cinderella.

Cinderella, Cinderella, night and day, it's Cinderella... )

Unfortunately, we had crab legs for dinner, and cracking open the carpace was not so great for my manicure, so it only lasted a couple hours. Lesson learned.

When we got back home, I decided to try out a new polish I'd scored with the gals, Essie's Trophy Wife:

Trophy Wife. )
imperfectlyperfect: A woman in a purple a-line dress (Clothes (purple dress))
There are a lot of pictures today, mainly because today was a day I couldn't get anything right. Also: today was a pretty terrible day, which didn't help one bit.

Suzi Says Feng Shui, My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Can't Be Tamed, Matte About You, Bossy Boots, Frostbite, Spazmatic. )
imperfectlyperfect: Nails painted black with shiny black tips. (Nails (black manicure))
Okay, so I have to take back some of the bad things I've been thinking about Butter London. I still think $14 is a lot to pay for a single bottle of nail polish (I am cheap, this I know), but I have a better understanding of why people are willing to pay that much for Butter's products.

Which is to say, my order arrived today.
My Butters. )

Though Lady Muck was the color I was most looking forward to trying (I'm kind of obsessed with blue-greys right now), I ended up putting on Slapper, because I wanted to see how it would look, paired with another of the Orly Glam Fx polishes, Mermaid Tale.

Slapper. )

Slapper went on like a dream. A DREAM. The first coat was about as sheer as you'd expect, but so silky smooth and not at all streaky. I can't even explain how incredible the formula on this is, but the phrase 'like butter' takes on an entirely new meaning. The first coat dried in less than a minute. It was opaque on the second coat and it dried in only fractionally a longer time. I was ready for my topper in less than 5 minutes, I'd say. AMAZING!

Slapper with Orly's Mermaid Tale. )

I knew Mermaid Tale would be a similar color to Slapper, but I didn't realize how close until I layered it on. Mermaid was much easier than Be Brave or Sashay My Way; though a little clumpy (there's a LOT of glitter in the base), it flowed on pretty smoothly and the distribution of glitter was very even. I didn't have to dab or finesse at all. Just one coat and done.

Mermaid Tale lives up to its name, very aqueous, and the light green micro glitter looks like dots of phosporescence. The glitter effect is fairly subtle because of the similarity between the colors, but I find I kind of like it, because I keep getting pleasantly surprised every time I move my fingers and light flashes from them like emeralds. But I'm also interested to see how it will look with a more contrasting base polish.
imperfectlyperfect: Text icon: Fuck Society's Idea of Beauty (Fuck It)
I've heard a lot of good things about Butter London, but they're one of the super expensive companies where their nail polish retails for about $14 US for a bottle and I'm not willing to pay that much.

However, I did catch wind of a lightning deal they were doing where they were selling certain 3 polish sets for $21 US, which balanced out to a price per bottle that I was willing to pay, giving me the opportunity to give Butter a try without feeling like I was being fucked without lube.

Well. I placed my order the day I heard about the deal, Sunday. I fully expected not to have the order processed until Monday, but, although the money went out of my account on Monday, the order just read as "pending" on Butter's website until Thursday, when Butter finally registered that they'd received the money. At that point, it went to "processing". Friday, I got a notification from UPS that the order was finally shipping. And the delivery date isn't scheduled until the FOLLOWING Friday.

And while, on the one hand, I get that I've been spoiled by Amazon Prime service (OMG, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Amazon Prime, best thing ever!) on the other hand, I've bought from 3rd party retailers through Amazon that aren't eligible for the same shipping, I've bought from Ulta's website, and Walgreens, I've bought from eBay, and independent sellers like Cult Nails and I have NEVER had a transaction + delivery take this long.

Butter may be liquid unicorn poop and rainbow sparkles, but they're already two strikes down, in my book. Does anyone else have any experience with their products? Is it going to end up being worth the wait?

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imperfectlyperfect: Close-up of fingernails painted dark purple with white nail art. (Default)
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March 2013

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