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: Close-up of fingernails painted dark purple with white nail art. (Default)
When I took off Nucleus, I decided to give another of the Chameleon polishes, Fandango, a try. Fandango is a blue/teal/green polish that mainly leans green. Sadly, it has the exact same problems as Nucleus: very sheer (which requires 4 coats to get fully opaque), prone to bubble, and slow to dry.

Unfortunately, I spaced on getting pictures of Fandango by itself, but the bubbling annoyed me sufficiently that I decided to cover it up and hide it behind an extreme dotticure (dotted manicure).

21 Color Salute! )
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: 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)
Cult Nails just came out with a new collection, called Behind Closed Doors. The swatches of the collection looked really gorgeous--and very timely for fall!--and the release (and the early release price!) happened to coincide with that brief period of time every month where I happen to have some disposable cash.

So. You know what happened. Yeah.

Anyway. I didn't photograph the entire collection and I didn't swatch (too impatient) but you can see swatches here, or just google it yourself.

I went straight to the application. I chose Afterglow )
imperfectlyperfect: Back of a woman's head, her hair in a blue French braid. (Hair (blue French))
I've mentioned Rainbow Honey before. It and Cult Nails were probably the first indie companies I heard of, and I was really enamored with Rainbow Honey's Equestria Collection.

However, after careful consideration--of the polishes and my budgetary consideration--I realized that there were really only two of the Equestria collection that I felt I had to have: The Worst Possible Thing and 20% Cooler.

By the time I was ready to buy those, however, Rainbow Honey had come out with another collection, the Sakura Matsuri collection, and it had another must-have for me, Koi Pond. So I bought all three.

I swatched Koi Poind over Lime Crime's Pastelchio when I bought ti and it looked AMAZING, but I wanted to try it over something else, something that would be maybe reminiscent of, you know, a koi pond.

A Dive Bar and a Koi Pond. )
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))
This manicure is a riff off one that I have since lost the link to. It's not the manicure I started out to do, but my first manicure was just bogged down in disaster (kept snagging my wet nails, polish taking forever to dry, etc) and I got impatient and gave up on it. So this was plan B.

I envision my cells... )

Though we're in an area affected by Sandy's landfall, so far we're doing okay. It's rainy and windy and there's flooding in areas nowhere near our apartment, but we're holding tight. Just pray The Husband and I don't kill each other, being trapped in one not-very-big apartment. He gets cranky when he's not allowed to go to work. :/
imperfectlyperfect: A woman in a purple a-line dress (Clothes (purple dress))
This is an extremely simple manicure that was, even so, REALLY STUNNING for relatively little effort. It wasn't a riff off any other manicure I've seen; it was just a random idea that came to me.

Though surrounded by darkness, I will still burn bright... )
imperfectlyperfect: A woman holding a credit card; text: she had made yet another wise shopping decision (Another Wise Shopping Decision)
I've been looking for ways to incorporate other colors in my manicures and yet keep them primarily pink. This is a riff on a manicure that I saw on Pinterest (here) the day before. It had all the things I look for in a manicure: great effect, but easy to execute.

Blue skies & rainbows. ) It's beautiful and perfect. What more could I ask for?
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: Close-up of fingernails painted dark purple with white nail art. (Default)
This is a manicure I've been wanting to do since I first came up with the idea of doing a month's worth of pink manicures. I wanted to do something like a traditional pink vertical stripe wallpaper.

This didn't turn out quite like I envisioned, but I am SUPER PLEASED with how it turned out, nonetheless.

Pink Manicure 23. )

Getting the pieces of striping tape on and placed properly on all ten nails was rather time-consuming and kind of a pain in the ass, but the end result felt really worth it. I had a hard time taking this one off.
imperfectlyperfect: A woman with braided hair seen from above (Hair (braids))
This manicure suffers simply from the fact that it came after a manicure that I REALLY REALLY loved. That is, I really like it, it's pretty, it looks pretty much how I wanted...but after that stunning pink & white cherry blossom dot manicure, it isn't nearly as impressive.

Pink Manicure 22. )

I am sure I would've been a lot more enamored of this manicure, like I said, if it hadn't come right after a manicure I was SO IN LOVE with.

I also switched top coats on this day, from the China Glaze Fast Forward to Poshe, which is another brand that seems to be pretty popular with the nail bloggers I follow.

A further note about the China Glaze Fast Forward: I noticed with Out the Door that, after a week of solid usage, the bottle still barely looked touched. That is, a week of use barely seemed to touch the amount of top coat in the bottle. In contrast, after a week of use, the Fast Forward bottle is half empty.

When I used Poshe yesterday (and today), I noticed further that one brief dip of the brush seems to give me WAY more top coat than I need for a single nail and I suspect that the Poshe bottle, like Out the Door is going to be pretty full when I'm done with its week. So Fast Forward tumbles another notch in my estimation.

Going back to Poshe, it seems to dry as quickly as Seche Vite and Out the Door (more quickly than Fast Forward), cures pretty quickly and gives reasonable shine (though not the glassy shine of Seche Vite). I haven't had any shrinkage problems with Out The Door, Fast Forward or Poshe, so far.

When this top coat experiment is over, I may try using one of the non-shrinking top coats to seal the nail polish and then try putting on a thin coat of Seche Vite to up the shine. *muses*
imperfectlyperfect: Close-up of fingernails painted dark purple with white nail art. (nails (Hawkeye))
Continuing my thought from last night... I've been kvetching about being restricted to one color all month (by my choice!), but it is true that having a limited palette and limited shades within that color has forced me to be more creative, in terms of coming up with this many manicures that are all the same color but still distinct from each other. I don't know if I'll ever do a project like this again, but it's been a wonderful stretch.

Pink Manicure 15. )

Pink Manicure 16. )

Pink Manicure 16.5. )

Pink Manicure 17. )

Pink Manicure 18. )

Pink Manicure 18.5. )

Pink Manicure 19. )

Pink Manicure 20. )

Pink Manicure 21. )

Lately, I'm also posting my pics to Twitter and Instagram. I'm poisontaster at both places, if you'd rather follow me either of those places.
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: 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: Close-up of fingernails painted dark purple with white nail art. (nails (Hawkeye))
Zoya's Phoebe is a polish you've seen before; I used Phoebe to make the little dots over Orly's Mysterious Curse a few days ago. But those little dots didn't do Phoebe justice:

A whole lot of painting going on! (image heavy) )

So, that's been my Great Nail Adventure. What are you wearing today?
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: Nails painted black with shiny black tips. (Nails (black manicure))
Today's manicure is inspired by my own stained nails. A couple months ago, I used a green polish that stained my nail plates badly and I've been waiting for it to slowly (so slowly) grow out, which means the back half of my nail, near the cuticle, is a nice healthy pink and from about mid-nail to the tip, it's a sickly translucent green.

I had just removed the polish one night when my husband announced he wanted to go out to dinner, so I jumped up and went out with my naked nails and found myself kind of fascinated by the look of them, the way the light shone through the tips and lit up the green and I though it could be a really cool idea to replicate the look more artistically by using a "nude" polish and painting the tips a bright, lime green. So let's try that, shall we? )

Another thought about the manicure and its inspiration: looking at my nails, with their sad, green stains, I wondered how many of the other nail bloggers I've come across are also hiding stained nails underneath their fantabulous manicures. I bet it's a lot of them, and I bet a fair number of them have some shame about their discolored nails, which is at least one of the reasons they keep covering it up with polish.

Which...there's a huge and obvious metaphor in that; the ugliness we hide beneath fancy persiflage and how, looking from the outside, all you really see are the pretty colors and interesting designs. The ugliness is yours, to hide or expose as you see fit. And even if you go around wearing your damage for everyone to see, the only person who is really likely to care is you.


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

March 2013

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