imperfectlyperfect: Back of a woman's head, her hair in a blue French braid. (Hair (blue French))
This was mainly a lot of messing around. I acquired a few different green polishes and I was worried that I'd just bought the same polish in three different colors. Lucky for me, that turned out not to be the case.

First, we have my favorite of the three, Zoya Tracie:

Tracie. )

Cindy. )

Butter London Dosh is another from my wish list; I was very excited when Butter put it on sale for $10.

Dosh. )

After swatching up those three, I didn't know what I wanted to do with myself, so I decided to try out OPI Swimsuit...Nailed it! from the 2011 Miss Universe collection.

December babies wear turquoise. )
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: 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.

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: A woman in a purple a-line dress (Clothes (purple dress))
I wanted to try out the Julep polishes in a more meaningful way, so today, I put on Popova.

Popova. )

Bottom line: I do love the color, but I don't love the polish.

I knew I wanted to layer another Orly Glam FX polish over it, Monster Mash.

Monster Mash. )

I was idly musing about how it might look with the matte top coat on when [ profile] quietdiscerning told me to try it, so I did!

The Hulk. )

Bottom line: it's true, matte can make everything better!
imperfectlyperfect: Nails painted black with shiny black tips. (Nails (black manicure))
My Julep shipment for September just arrived. Julep did something new this month. First of all, they partnered with a designer named Trina Turk to come up with a line of 10 colors. Secondly, they gave their mavens the opportunity to 'upgrade' this months shipment and get the entire collection for an additional sum.

Still in the 'trying out' phase of my relationship with Julep, I decided to take the plunge and get all 10 colors.

The Trina Turk Collection by Julep. )

And here are the swatches:

The Swatches. )
imperfectlyperfect: Nails painted black with shiny black tips. (Nails (black manicure))
So, after the Indigo Illusion, I wanted to do something bright and fun, and I decided to do an alternating color manicure. That is, I painted my middle finger one color (the yellow Blake, by Julep), I painted my index and ring finger another color (Mojito Madness, by Essie) and my pinky and thumb a third color (Peachykeen by China Glaze). Blake was the only one of these polishes I had tried before.

Beanside calls this my Oddly Irish Manicure. )

Sadly, it turned out to be better in theory than in practice. The Mojito Madness was great; it applies smoothly, the color is less pastel than it looks in the bottle, it was pretty opaque in one coat, it was totally opaque in two, it dries like a dream. Everything I've come to expect from Essie.

Peachy Keen was also less pastel than it looked in the bottle; it came out a more cantaloupe color than I was expecting, though I liked it way more than I did when I thought it was more pastel. The formula was very streaky/thin in the first coat. It got smoother and more opaque by the second coat, but it was fiddly enough that it was hard for me to get even application and it ended up a little globby and/or uneven on the sides. Still, though not as nice as the Essie, I'm reasonably happy with it. It's workable.

No, the problem is Blake. I'd noted, when I tried it out before, that it suffers from "the pastel problem"; that is, I've noticed that pastel polishes tend to be streaky and fussy to apply neatly and take at least 3 coats to get 'good'. But I feel like it's even worse than that, with Blake. It's a very sticky formulation. I would say it's fast drying, but on the nail, it's not really fast drying at all. It just doesn't flow smoothly across the nail. It's streaky, it's brushy, it requires really thick globbing to try and get a solid coat and by the time I'd built up enough to get opacity (3 coats), it felt like it was twice as thick. AND bubbly. This makes me really sad, because the color is LOVELY. I wish I could find such a lovely yellow that wasn't such a pain in the ass. Does anyone know of one?

Anyway. I liked the overall effect, but the messiness and thick plastic look of the Blake was really pissing me off. I decided to look for another color that would work for my middle finger and hit on the idea that maybe I could just cover up the Blake with a glitter polish. So I spackled some of China Glaze's Electrify over the egregious Blake nail.

Oddly Irish With Bling. )

After all that effort for less-nice-than-I-hoped effect, though, and being in a previously crabby mood from lack of sleep, I decided I was done fucking around with this, took it all off and painted my nails and entirely different color: Want My Bawdy by China Glaze, part of the Luster Chrome collection.

The article that I originally read about the collection said that Want My Bawdy wasn't a duochrome like the rest of the collection; I think it is, it's just an incredibly subtle duochrome effect, alternating between a dark, rich blue and a darker purple. In fact, when I held my hand up to show my husband, he thought it was a purple polish until I swung my hand down, and he saw it was actually primarily blue.

This also came out a little bubbly, but that's mostly because I was in a foul mood, and so I was going too fast. The blue reminds me a lot of OPI's Into The Night, part of their Spiderman collection, though Into The Night doesn't flash purple. In any case, it's a GORGEOUS dark, metallic blue that looks amazing. The first coat is pretty sheer, but it darkens quickly, the dry time is good and is fully opaque in 3 thin coats.

Want My Bawdy? )
imperfectlyperfect: Nails painted black with shiny black tips. (Nails (black manicure))
So, this is Kim. Kim is another of the Julep polishes, the one I wanted MOST, because I have never seen another polish like it. Kim is a very dark gray metallic; on the nail, it looks like liquid hematite.

When I swatched, Kim wasn't streaky at all. This time, the first coat was a little streaky and I didn't really wait long enough for the second coat, which meant I got a (singular) bald spot on my index finger, and some bubbling by the time I put on the third coat. It would look a lot better if I'd taken my time, but I was impatient. It still looks pretty damn good, though.

(You can see my reflection in my nails in the first picture!)

Kim. )
imperfectlyperfect: Text: I like being weird. Weird's all I've got, that and my sweet style (Sweet Style)
This is another long & image heavy one.

Okay, so, Julep.

I mentioned over here that I'd signed up with this nail polish company for their monthly service. Since I got their introductory box for 1 cent, I decided to also buy the August box at full price, since their theme this month is Metallics and Chromes and I LOVE LOVE LOVE metallic and chrome/duochrome nail polish.

The boxes arrived separately; I got the introductory box a couple days ago, giving me a chance to swatch those colors and then the August box arrived Saturday (yesterday), giving me a chance to do a quick swatch on those.

My overall opinion is that, although I still think their base prices are...well, pricey, they do, in general, give good product. I have two cremes, one shimmer and two metallics and they all have gorgeous color, are pretty easy to apply (more on that in a minute), give good coverage, etc.

I'm amused and disappointed that the pump of nail polish remover that came with my August box is a non-acetone remover, but once I use it up, I suppose it would be easy enough to refill the pump with a better remover.

So let's break it down. In the Intro box, I was know, I actually forget now. It was something that made me laugh. But I actually ended up taking the It Girl box, because those were the colors that were most appealing to me. The box contained Blake, Claire and Morgan.

Blake. )

Claire. )

Morgan. )

So, in between the intro box arriving and the August box arriving, I tried out my one Nicole (by OPI) polish, I Have a Plumb Thumb. This is literally my oldest polish; when I decided I was going to have a go at polishing my fingernails more regularly, I went through all my old, infrequently used polishes and discovered they had largely separated and gotten gunky since the last time I looked at them, so I threw them all out, except for Plumb Thumb, which remained silky and color-fast. But I hadn't worn it ever, as I recollect.

I Have a Plumb Thumb. )

I was really pleasantly surprised. The color is very sheer going on (it was still a little sheer, even after 3 coats), but it goes on smoothly, not at all streaky, doesn't show brush strokes, dries to a lovely, intense red-plum magenta. It hovers, imo, right on that line between summer and fall, though and I'm in a place where I'm really wanting unusual, eye-catching colors, though, more than reds or pinks. So, though it is a gorgeous color that I do plan to wear again lots, I was a little bored with it, and I decided to try out Essie's A Cut Above glitter polish on my ring finger.

A Cut Above Plumb Thumb. )

Sadly, I ended up having to do some hard core chores around the house and ended up destroying my manicure. But that was okay, because I'd just gotten the 2012 New Bohemian Collection from China Glaze.

The Collection. )

So, not even a secret: I LOVE DUOCHROME nail polish. If you don't know what that is, duochrome are metallic polishes that look like different colors, based on the light or how your hand is angled. For example, Unpredictable is mainly a green polish, but depending on how you look at it, it can also look blue or silvery, like a bottlefly's wings. So the fact that China Glaze came up with a whole collection of chameleon polishes was like tossing out a personal invitation for me to come and play.

There are, as you see, six colors in the collection. Here's a picture of how they look on the nail (again, inadequately photographed, but we do what we can):

The First Five. )

Want My Bawdy, Harley & Kim. )

In the end, though, I decided that I wanted something light and flirty on my nails, and so I decided to do the full manicure in China Glaze's Unpredictable, a light changeable blue-green-gold

Unpredictable. )

I highly recommend any/all of these polishes.


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

March 2013

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