Monday, May 20, 2013

Recent Manis

I've mostly been posting pictures of my manis to Reddit lately, and neglecting to write about them here, however, I like talking about nail polish, so now I'm going to do this, too.  The first non-solid mani I did recently was another cloud one.  I liked the contrast of the glass fleck polishes with the creme center, and the colors I used were CG Watermelon Rind, Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet, and CG Blue Iguana.  It did get a little thick at the tips, though, because Blue Iguana was so sheer I needed two thick coats of it to make it look as dark as I wanted.

This next one was a lesson in simplicity.  I began with a base of Pure Ice Temptress, which is a glass fleck polish, but has a finish similar to the OPI Suede line in that it dries partially matte.  I then used striping tape over 3 nails to create a lattice pattern which I painted over with Pure Ice Femme Fatale.  I really liked Temptress, though, and I wanted to leave more of it uncovered, so I just dotted Femme Fatale on my remaining two nails.

I then decided that I didn't want to do such an elaborate design on my right hand (also I'm pretty sure I was running late for class), so I did simple stripes, and ended up liking them much better, although I liked the purple with green stripes a lot better, so I wished I'd done the colors reversed.

Words cannot describe how in love I was (and still am) with this mani.  I left it on for three whole days!  I used a base of China Glaze Unpredictable, which I absolutely adore just on its own.  Then I taped and painted over with CoverGirl Midnight Magic, a gorgeous fleck polish with lots of colors from green to purple to grey.  On my left hand, the stripes ended up farther down than I'd wanted, so I used some dots to fill in the space.  I liked the design on my right hand, without the dots, better, though.

Also, exciting news--as of last week, I'm employed!  Unfortunately, it's for my school's Grounds department, which means lots of opportunities to ruin nails. :(  It was my first choice for a job, though, so I'm really happy about it:  lots of time spent outside (which I may regret this summer when it's 110), I got to pick the number of hours I wanted to work AND my exact schedule, and all the people I work with are amazingly friendly and nice.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Neurulation Nails

In order to better prepare for my first developmental biology exam, I decided I should paint one of the diagrams on my nails, and neurulation seemed to be a fairly simple concept.  The diagram I was going off of was one in a handout the professor gave us, but this one is close enough:

It turns out that the way I painted them (with the smallest, skinniest stage on the smallest nail) makes it rather difficult to get a picture of them looking like they're "in order" for the sequence, so I gave up on that and just photographed them this way.

And here's a cross section of the ectoderm, neural tube, mesoderm, and endoderm.  The design ended up looking a lot more shaky than I'd hoped, probably because I used a dotting tool to draw the entire thing.

I don't remember exactly which colors I used, as I had a whole range out experimenting with which ones looked best, but I know the blue is from Cosmetic Arts, the teal is China Glaze Four Leaf Clover, and the white is Sinful Colors.

Recent Manis

Recently I haven't done anything that I felt was exciting enough to make a whole post on, with the exception of one mani which is coming up next.  I have, however, been using and discovering a lot of pretty colors, and I'd like to share those with you now.

First up is an unnamed creme purple from Cosmetic Arts topped with Wet n Wild Caught on Sapphire.  I grabbed the bottle thinking that for $1.99 it might be nice to have a large bright blue glitter.  When I swatched it, though, it came out much more complex and intense than I'd anticipated, and I was so in love with it that I left this "plain" mani on for almost 3 days.

It's got the larger blue hexes, which almost seem luminous in certain lights, as shown above, as well as a microshimmer that's sort of blue and purple iridescent, which shows better in the photo below.  Unfortunately, this polish was a bit hard to use.  You certainly don't have to worry about the glitter being too sparse--the application you see here was the result of much effort to end up with a light sprinkling of the large hexes.  It's suspended in a rather thick base, though, so when you finally get just a few pieces on your nail, there's very little chance that they're spread nicely, rather than in a single clump on the side of your nail.

I knew that I wanted to use Color Club Snowflakes over something, but I wasn't quite sure what.  I swatched it over several colors from purple to red to green before deciding to try it over a dark navy, Rain Storm by Sinful Colors.  The result, in my humble opinion, was utterly stunning, and I put the chevrons, in Salon Perfect Gold Leaf, on it just so I could call it nail art, after I considered stamping it but didn't want to obscure the gorgeous opal-esque finish.

Aaaand for some reason, I'm currently obsessed with chevrons.  Or striping tape.  Or maybe both.  Inspired by a design I saw a while back, but sadly lost the link to, I used striping tape to create this design of Pure Ice Jail Bait (???) over Sally Hansen Shoot the Moon, a color I've had on my mental wishlist since I first saw it, and finally decided to buy on Friday.

As you can see (maybe), I messed up the index finger and smoothed it back out in that picture, and I'd ruined my thumb beyond saving, so I took it off later that evening and put on Color Club Kismet for spending Saturday afternoon in a sunny park.  That evening, I couldn't leave it alone, though, and ended up attempting the double chevron design again with NYX Girls Charcoal Pearl.  Someday, I will learn to get my stripes uniform.  Someday....

I think the fishtail design looks really cool, but I hate hate HATE when polish is just "piled up" on my nails, and this mani is a particularly bad offender for obese nail tips.  I did this one yesterday, and I really loved how it looked at a distance (i.e. looking at my hands in a mirror), but I didn't like how it looked up close.  The color combination was really nice, though, Sally Hansen Blue-Away (not Blue Me Away), Mint Sorbet, and Coral Reef.

Finally, this is my current mani, which I'm really in love with, but also wanting to take off to try other designs. I bought this gold, the same Gold Leaf color from Salon Perfect I used in the flakie mani earlier, for use as the "half moon" color in half moon manis, so I guess it's serving its purpose quite well.  Over it, I painted Sally Hansen Pink Pong, then dotted Mint Sorbet.  I think it's just complex enough to be interesting, without being over the top and "too busy."

Well that's all for now!  Hopefully I'll find some better inspiration for some actual nail art sometime soon, but in the mean time I'll try to share more in depth reviews of the polishes I'm using, especially ones that have recently come out and/or are still in stores.  (A personal pet peeve of mine is when someone reviews products or colors from a line that was discontinued years ago and no longer readily available anywhere.)

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