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: 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 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: Female legs; sparkly high heels on her feet (Shoes (sparkle pumps))
This is the absolutely most complicated manicure I've done to date. So, I suppose it's a good thing that it turned out so great. *laughs*

Loki & a lot of talk about it. )

This is a manicure I'm definitely not wiping out tomorow; I'm going to wear this as long as I can. For all that work, there's definitely commensurate sense of satisfaction.
imperfectlyperfect: Close-up of fingernails painted dark purple with white nail art. (Default)
I really DID NOT want to take off Hang-Ten Toes today. It's such an amazing, changeable shade. Lately, I find I'm bored with a color pretty quickly and ready to explore the new colors I haven't touched yet, but I really, really wanted to keep Hang-Ten Toes on, even though it was badly chipped on two fingers and was starting to show bad edgewear. (protip: wash your hair and style your hair BEFORE doing your nails, not the other way around) *sigh*

But I persevered and, knowing that any similar polish was likely to come off badly after my lovely Hang-Ten Toes, I decided to go WAY in the other direction and try out Nubar's Indigo Illusion.

Though the name implies a certain level of blueness, it's really not very visible in the color itself. If anything, Indigo Illusion looks a lot more like a gunmetal gray with duochrome flashes of purple and green. When I showed it to my husband, he thought it was a purple. That being said, I really like it. It has a very classy, luxe look to it, between the unassuming but rich looking gray and then the intense flashes of color every time you move your hands. If I were still a corporate drone working for Motorola, I'd wear this to work all the time, because it's nicely neutral while still giving some bling for the buck.

The luxe look is also due to the formula. Again, I am so impressed by Nubar's formulation. Not a bit of streakiness, no bald spots, no unevenness at all. Just smooth, silky color. This was fully opaque in two, easy-peasy coats.

Indigo Illusion; feels a bit like Meatloaf Surprise. (but in a good way!) )

I don't know how long I'll end up leaving this on, mainly because I've been very much into bright, flashy colors lately and less into muted or autumnal shades, but I'll definitely be wearing this again.
imperfectlyperfect: Text icon: Fuck Society's Idea of Beauty (Fuck It)
Sometimes the brain is a stupid and contradictory place. I create this journal specifically to post and natter about my nail polish (among other things) and I start freaking out, feeling like...I'm posting too much about my nail polish.

*facepalms x a million*

Anyway. I did end up taking off the Roman Gelato that same night, thinking that we'd be (possibly) getting up and traveling the next day and I wouldn't have a lot of time in the morning.

Big pix under the cut; 4 polishes )
imperfectlyperfect: Nails painted black with shiny black tips. (Nails (black manicure))
I'm going to give you guys the wrong impression. I don't actually change my nail polish every day. But I'd ordered a few Nubar polishes and they came yesterday and I just couldn't wait to try one of them out.

Okay, so. I am REALLY loving Nubar products. The color on this is just gorgeous. In the bottle, it looks more blue than on the nail, but even on, the blue is still present and produces startling flashes as my fingers move. One coat was pretty opaque; two was perfect.

I was really hesitant about adding anything to the color, but I dying to also try this glitter polish. I've had bad luck with the last few glitter polishes I've tried. I mean, the polishes themselves were fine, but the color combos I picked didn't work out in ways that I liked and so I was leery, especially since the glitter polish (one of Essie's Luxeffects line, Stroke of Brilliance) is at such a different place on the blue spectrum, tending more toward silver/black/gray.

(...and now you see why I started a whole new journal for this; I can't inflict this on the public at large...)

ANYWAY. I decided to just put the glitter on my ring fingers, thereby minimizing the problem if I hate it...and instead, I LOVE IT. I'm tempted to do over all my nails, but I'm channeling my inner Tim Gunn and editing. The ring fingers are the perfect accent and the other nails can just be pure.

Nubar's Earth & Essie's Stroke of Brilliance. )

ION, I am SO DAMN READY for my period to be over. Right now, my nails are the only thing about me that feels remotely beautiful. >.
imperfectlyperfect: Nails painted black with shiny black tips. (Nails (black manicure))
The disclaimer here is that I'm very new to nail polish. One of the reasons I wanted to start this journal is that so many of the other blogs & journals devoted to nails that I've seen so far are by people who seem to have been doing this forever and know everything. I know all of them must have started somewhere too, it's not a question of feeling inferior, exactly, so much as wanting to be able to document MY fumbling journey to...wherever it is that I'm going.

My mother had beautiful nails. The were long and strong and easily retained polish for weeks or months at a time without chipping. I, on the other hand, have teflon nails that throw polish off after a few days (I think four days is my record) and that, once a month, flake and peel to near-nonexistence. Having my mother as my exemplar, it was another of those cases where I felt like "why should I even bother to try?" if I was going to constantly fail so monumentally. But these days, I find myself a lot more philosophical about my nails' shortcomings. It's just an opportunity to change up colors more often, to change my look with my mood or my outfits. Whatever.

I'm currently not working and looking to have a career in writing, so most other make up is wasted on me, a good 80% of the time. I don't go around seeing my own face, as it were. I used to enjoy perfume, as another form of pampering and self care and beautification, but my husband is so violently sensitive to perfume that I kind of gave it up, except on rare occasions. Nail polish is, first of all, significantly less expensive (at least in theory) than perfume, and I get the pleasure of admiring my own hands as I perform my day to day whatevers. So. Nail polish.

I don't have perfect nails. I keep them kind of short and functional (and when I don't, they break on their own, because I am fairly active with my hands) and I'm not overly fussed about having them perfect or 100% perfectly cleaned up when I take pictures. (despite this, I spent an obscene amount of money today for a fine brush to be able to clean my margins with acetone *facepalm*)

Anyway.

I ended up with three different colors on my nails today. Four, if you count the Essie Shine of the Times that I layered over the Nubar.

Nubar )
This is Nubar's Reclaim, part of their Going Green collection. It doesn't show much in the picture, but it's a holo green. It's really pretty and was a dream going on, but after the intensity of my previous polish, Essie's Aruba Blue, it felt a little drab. So, this morning, I ended up layering Shine of the Times by Essie over it (I didn't get a pic of that), but it was a disaster, the first time Shine of the Times hasn't made a polish immediately better. But the flakie muted the mild holo effect and it just ended up looking olive and kind of tarnished. Feh.

So I took that off and put on this:

NYC )
This is New York Color's East Village. It is an extremely watery and thin polish. I mean, really, the most watery polish I've run across so far. It took four coats to get decent coverage, there was still some visible nail line (VNL) and it ended up very bubbly (because I didn't wait long enough between coats), which kind of drove me crazy. It is a very pretty color; it's a teal that leans more green than blue and is a little duochrome, looking more blue or more green depending on the light and how I moved my fingers. I'll probably try this one again when I have more patience, but I'm really unhappy with how watery it is.

So I took that off. I was torn between a red creme that I'd recently acquired or a purple creme from the same collection, China Glaze's 2011 Metro collection, but I decided to go with the purple, because I've been on the prowl for a nice vibrant purple.

China Glaze )
This is China Glaze's Urban Night. It looks almost more brown on the nail, a beautiful chocolaty purple. I'm not sure how it will look in daylight. It's not very summery at all (which makes sense, as it's part of a fall collection) and I'm not sure how long I'll keep it on before I get bored, since I'm really into fun, summery shades right now.

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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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