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: 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: 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: 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: 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. (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: Close up of fingernails painted green, black & gold. (nails (Loki))
I really like doing my nails in two different colors. I don't know what it is, exactly. This manicure started as another attempt to do that Phases of the Moon manicure that I did in beige & black, but in shades of pink, instead. I didn't like how it turned out this time, either, so I decided to just alternate colors and do a half & half on my middle finger:

Uneven Phases )

conversely, I ADORED this next manicure.

I'd been messing around with incorporating black into the palette, while still keeping the pink front and center. I'd been thinking of it in terms of people we've lost to breast cancer, but in a moment of inspiration, I thought it could also refer, just as easily, to the darkness that surrounds you when you go through a cancer experience, even as a bystander. So I decided to do another riff on the Cloudy Day manicure I did on my Chicago trip. And it came out great!

Long, Dark Teatime of the Soul. )

Looking for inspiration, I'd googled "pink manicures" just to see what came up and I found this ombre manicure. The blogger had used stamping, but it would be just as easy to do actual dotting.

A Little Dotty. )

I decided to give each of the top coats I bought a week-long try out. I used INM Out the Door for this manicure. It's got approximately the same wet-to-surface dry time as Seche Vite, but it's a much thinner polish, meaning it doesn't feel as seamlessly smooth to the touch (I can still feel the bumps of the dots through it) and it doesn't dry as glassy-shiny. Still, I've been wearing this manicure since this morning, and there's no noticeable shrinkage at all. I definitely want to try it with a vegetarian polish like Zoya before I pronounce it my new favorite, but it's definitely impressed me so far.
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 green, black & gold. (nails (Loki))
So, I'm going to be going away for a few days. The family is throwing a shindig for my grandma's 85th birthday party and I need to be there, because my grandma is my hero and my inspiration. So.

I'm a little facepalmy about how I'm thinking about what nail polish I want to take with me, but I don't know what I'm taking or doing or how that's all going to work out. It'll probably be boring nails and super busy for four days. (not that I think you're hanging around waiting on my every word or anything. heh)

Breakfast Combo No. 1 & Color Blocking for Fun but No Profit. )
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. (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))
Today was another series of trial-and-error. Last night, as I was trawling across Pinterest, I found this manicure, on one of the Julep boards:

Inspirational Stripes. )

I decided to strike out into more original territory and experiment with the first option. So first I put on two coats of Zoya's Caitlin.

I Didn't Earn My Stripes. )

So. While I like all the colors individually, I was very unhappy with the combination. The colors were too drab together to be really interesting, all the "interest" was only viable from close up, and even close up, the colors were too similar. And, at the end of the day, it wasn't enough like the manicure I wanted.

At this point, and still coasting on the hangover of yesterday's migraine, I was vexed. The choice was simple: I could spend another hour of my life in a second attempt, using my B Team of colors (Dreamer, Caitlin & Nein!) or I could say fuck it and do something simple and fast.

Simple and fast won. Well. At least in theory.

Whimsical & 'The FLOTUS'. )
imperfectlyperfect: A woman with braided hair seen from above (Hair (braids))
So, after vowing that I was going to wear that Loki manicure into the dirt, it started chipping within a day. *sighs* O, Loki, I only want to love you.

Without any serious intentions of what I wanted to play with next, I decided to try out a newer polish I'd scored over the weekend, I Don't Give a Rotterdam, part of the 2012 Holland collection by OPI.

Ka-Pow! )

Today, I already noticed some shrinkage--one thing I've read and noted first hand about Seche Vite top coat is that it encourages shrinkage in a lot of polishes--and I was ready to keep experimenting.

However, today was a busy day and I didn't have a lot of time to devote to my nails, so I scrapped my initial, more complicated ideas for the day and decided to try out Orly's Mysterious Curse:

Curses, dots and dings. )
imperfectlyperfect: Text: I like being weird. Weird's all I've got, that and my sweet style (Sweet Style)
Today is my absolute favorite of my Avengers manicures; I think it's my favorite manicure, period. Okay, so today was Hawkeye, which meant obviously it was going to have something to do with arrows.

Me and [ profile] quietdiscerning tossed around some ideas and tried a few things. I thought about a single arrow drawn across my four fingers; the arrow head on my index & the fletching on my pinkie and then a straight line across the middle and ring, but it didn't really pop when I tried it.

We went back to our original idea; a vertical arrow, but, though the fletching was looking good, the arrow heads were looking cartoonish and just...not what I wanted. Playing around with the striper brush, I got a good arrow design on my thumbs, but I couldn't figure out how to make that work on the other nails. And, at the end of the day, it felt on the nose in a way I'd been avoiding with the other manicures.

So, I decided to take a step back, keep what I liked and go for something a bit more stylized. A vertical line through the center of the nail and a couple chevrons that could pass for fletching or a tribal design. I kept the arrows on my thumbs.

The result is something I REALLY, DEEPLY love. Like the other manicures, there's definitely a call-back to the character, but there's a tribal element to it, and a very graphical element to it that feels very me. I'm beyond pleased.

The Hawkeye. )
imperfectlyperfect: Nails painted black with shiny black tips. (Nails (black manicure))
My original thought about doing a Black Widow manicure was that I was going to try and do a tape off manicure where I put a red hourglass over a black nail (and I may do that at another time, because that just sounds cool) but at the last minute, I decided to try a half-moon manicure, something I've never done.

The Black Widow. )
imperfectlyperfect: A woman holding a credit card; text: she had made yet another wise shopping decision (Another Wise Shopping Decision)
This is Germanicure. It's part of OPI's German Collection, and MY GOD, it is glorious!

Perfection in bottle form, i.e. Germanicure. )

Here's the thing about Germanicure. First of all, I've never seen a color quite like this. It's sleek and shiny, it makes my nails look longer than they are, and it's so elegant, I could die. Any brush strokes that show just give it a sort of woodgrain look that is flabbergastingly beautiful. I just have nothing bad to say about this polish.
imperfectlyperfect: Back of a woman's head, her hair in a blue French braid. (Hair (blue French))
I've been feeling like a lot of the blues I've been wearing have been photographing like the same color, even though, to the naked eye, they're not. (I don't know what it is about my phone camera; it seems to bend everything blue) So I thought I'd take a comparison photo.

I Guess That's Why They Call it The Blues. )

The picture is still not true color; Want My Bawdy is distinctly a LOT more purple than the other colors; Unfor-greta-bly Blue & Rodeo Fanatic are probably the most similar, but Greta is definitely more blue, whereas fanatic leans darker and with a bit more teal.

Given the problems with my phone, I'm not sure I proved to anyone's satisfaction other than my own that they're all different shades, but I guess I was the one worried about it...

I also tested out how similar China Glaze's Smoke & Ashes (part of their Hunger Games Collection) is to Sally Hansen's new Insta-Dri shade, In a Flurry.

In a Flurry vs. Smoke & Ashes. )

The answer to that one is that I think they're trying to be the same, but there are distinct differences. Both have gold & green glitter in a black base with a little bit of blue shimmer. But China Glaze has a much thicker, darker base and less glitter, compared to Sally Hansen's translucent black/gray base with a higher, shinier proportion of glitter. The China Glaze was also thick enough that one coat was sufficient, whereas the Sally Hansen needed 3.

OPI's Mystery wasn't like either of them, despite a superficial similarity in the bottle: it's a deep purple base with gold glitter that looks nothing like the other two.
imperfectlyperfect: Close-up of fingernails painted dark purple with white nail art. (Default)
So, I couldn't stop thinking about that ruined look that I never got to photograph, with the Suzi Says Feng Shui and the Chunky Black Holo over it. Not just because I hadn't gotten the all-important picture; I'd also just really liked the look of the manicure and I hadn't gotten to do anything with it or go anywhere. So I decided to recreate it today.

Given that Suzi Says Feng Shui was a rather fiddly color to work with and I have a bunch of blues that I haven't tried yet, I decided to go with a different blue base: OPI's Unfor-greta-bly Blue, which is part of their new (just in stores now) Germany Collection.

Unfor-greta-bly Blue & Black Chunky Holo. )


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

March 2013

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