The other day I was shopping at Ulta, as one does, and chanced upon a display of the new Ulta Summer Exclusives from OPI. I stared at them a little, having a certain sense of deja vu, and then started chortling. They’re all re-releases of colors from last year or thereabouts. Some of the details are linked here at The Daily Varnish, but it sums up as: the entirety of the Pirates of the Caribbean and Katy Perry collections (respectively six and four colors), and a couple of random colors from other recent collections I didn’t recognize, plus both black and silver shatters. I missed both collections, so I was pretty happy to see them available (albeit with different names) at 2/$12. Sweet deal.
I got Oh, Waiter, which is the Skull & Glossbones reissue (a soft putty-like gray), along with a couple of others you may see later, and today, when I wanted something really mellow, decided to wear it with a couple of pretty duochrome shimmer accent nails. This one is Lilacquer Selkie, a topcoat with a clear base like Kitsune, which is featured here, though this one has a lovely blue-aqua-green shift. It’s quite subtle, especially as compared to some of the others, but I thought it worked pretty well for my purposes. Can you guess what else was involved?
Yeah. I’m predictable. Since I got E-MAY, I’ve been obsessively slapping a matte on most of my manis in one way or another. Sometimes, just for kicks, I’ll toss a coat on one nail right before I remove my polish just to see what it looks like. Sometimes it’s awesome and I make a note to do that again. Sometimes it’s terrible and I note the reverse. I will apologize once to people who are huge lovers of shiny nails, and never again: People, I’m sorry. I love matte nails. If you don’t, this may not be the blog for you.
I really enjoyed wearing Oh, Waiter (this was two very easy coats), though I keep mentally calling it Skull and Glossbones because I prefer that name. This particular shade of gray is one I find very soothing to the eye, and it’s just neutral enough to neither clash nor totally overtake the blue shine of Selkie.
Here’s Selkie in the bottle. She mentions that the pigments used can be a little thick, but I’ve found that they’re just to my taste. They also tend to dry pretty quickly, which is pleasant. If you’ve been enjoying seeing me use these, you can check out swatches of the whole nine-color collection at Spaz & Squee. She’s also got swatches up of Lilacquer’s new Fifth Element-inspired collection.
Selkie was purchased at Lilacquer’s Etsy shop, and the OPI was from Ulta.
Both were bought by me, for my own purposes.
Let’s kick this off with a goofy name for a fairly pretty skittles-style manicure. I had just gotten all but one of these in a package from Beautometry that morning, and absolutely could not resist putting them all on. Please forgive my relatively terrible application; I’m still working on my “technique”.
I have huge weaknesses for gray polishes and bright and sparkly holos, so I did a sort of gray-to-black ombre manicure, plus a little hit of red at the end for punch. From left to right: Glitter Gal 3D Holographic in Silver, a-England Ascalon, Pretty & Polished Black Swan, and Glitter Gal Shade Shifters Soft Daybreak with one coat of GG 3D Holo Silver on top. Invisible on the thumb is one coat of Zoya Dove under a layer of Glitter Gal 3D Holo Light As A Feather, which is a soft gray holo that is gorgeous in person, but looked like a vaguely sparkly gray polish in every photo I took. Bah.
Linear, scattered, scattered, linear. It was a brilliant afternoon when I left the house, so these are in bright sunlight. This and the last one show off Black Swan & Ascalon’s holo sparkle the best, I think.
This one really shows off the Silver holo’s glow. One thing that I was unable to capture is the lovely lavender duochrome that Ascalon displays, most especially in the shade or indoors. In certain lights it looks entirely purple, which was pretty amusing at times, as you might expect.
Look at the gleam on that last finger. And yet I’m a little sad that I went for the full holohands look — Daybreak on its own is a beautiful coppery/brick-red shimmer with a blue-green duochrome plus occasional purple and pink gleams. Chalkboard Nails has some gorgeous swatches of it by itself and over black, which shows the other glory of the Shade Shifters line. Also, I could have called the mani “Daybreak on the Holo Deck”, which would have been especially silly. :)
The black holo, as I mentioned is Black Swan by Pretty & Polished, a wonderful indie company. I’ve got a few of their other polishes, and they’re fantastic. You’ll definitely be seeing more later.
The three Glitter Gal polishes and the a-England are available at Beautometry, as well as Llarowe and Ninja Polish, as well as possibly other independent retailers. I’m not going to say they’re cheap, because they are not, but, hey, if you can, why the hell not? I’m a pretty stodgy believer in spending money on what makes you happy, if you can.
All polishes were purchased by me for my own purposes.
Now for a brief conversation about why I like to paint my nails:
I used to bite my nails to an extreme degree. After I stopped and my nails recovered, I took a considerable delight in painting them, mostly borrowing my friend’s polishes, and often in gothic shades — midnight blue, forest green, royal purple, blood-red, glitter black. After a while I lost interest, got distracted, and my nails were usually bare, though I accumulated a few bottles as a matter of habit. For a long time, my gender identification was such that I avoided participating in many habits that I considered traditionally feminine. Then a couple of years ago, I regained some comfort in the art of being femme and began to pursue an interest in makeup and this included painting my nails.
It is not a stretch to say that nail painting is pretty symbolic for me. I still have three years to go before I reach the point where the biting is no longer over half my life. Mmm, stress-driven self-harm. Some days it’s nice to celebrate the ending of certain habits. It helps to drive home the fact that habits can be changed.
Now, my ducklings, I am going to go finish watching Gosford Park, because it’s delighting me with all the marvelous British household drama. Awkward kissing for the win!