Bah. All my brain power is busily being co-opted for schooling.
Anyhow, this is a quick mani done with one of the L’Oreal Project Runway polishes, The Muse’s Attitude, plus a-england Excalibur, both with serious holo topcoats. If you’re looking for swatches of either of these, I apologize; this is not the post you are looking for. *waves fingers*
On to the photos:
.Without the topcoat, Muse’s Attitude is a ridiculously pretty deep teal-esque green foil that shows a slight purple duochrome or flash at extreme angles. It seems as though it’s pretty close to Illamasqua Viridian, as I’ve observed the same thing about it, but I don’t own Viridian myself, so I can’t do a proper comparison. This was two coats; the first was streaky and the second was opaque. I don’t think it got on well with my basecoat, but I’m a bit used to that from drugstore brands. I apologize for not taking any pictures of it without the topcoat. I’ll definitely be wearing it again before fall is out, though, so check back again later!
Excalibur is The Perfect Silver. Seriously, I will probably never buy another silver metallic polish (ask me about that in six months and we’ll see how well I’ve kept to that promise) as long as I have this. I initially applied one coat and it was opaque, but I inflicted a few dents via kitten and did another to fix them. I need more a-england polishes. I need them until I have all of them. :)
Over Excalibur, I applied one coat of Glitter Gal Silver 3D/Holo. Over Muse’s Attitude, I used my standby Piper Polish Co. Spectraflair Topcoat. You will be seeing a lot of that over the next month, as I don’t have quite enough actual holo polishes to fill a whole month, and I love playing with it.
There’s really nothing like a holo nail for distracting you when you’re walking in the sun.
I bought Muse’s Attitude at a Walgreen’s, but I’ve seen them other places as well. Glitter Gal is available various places (Llarowe, Ninja Polish, Beautometry). a-england polishes are also available at all of those retailers, but I got this one straight from their site during a sale. Piper Polish Co. is on etsy. *whew*
So school has been whupping me soundly. It’s been fantastic and I’ve been very happy to be back in the books and papers mode, but my energy levels are not what they were ten years ago. How embarrassing! So I’ve been being a bit lackadaisy with both doing my nails and photographing them.
Today’s polishes are older ones that do not belong to me, rendering this a sort of guest-post. Lent to me by one of my dear peeps, the Scientifically Awesome S., please meet rather vintage Sally Hansen Aqua Chrome and Black Pearl Chrome. (Please also forgive the complete lack of cleanup and relatively sad lighting. I wanted to take very quick pictures because, lacking use of a base or topcoat, I was worried that they might chip within a short amount of time.)
I chose these two entirely because the skirt I was wearing had both blue and silvery-black as part of the design, and was very pleased. They are still very shiny, very brushstroke-prone, and very pleasing.
I don’t own any of the more recent chromes (e.g. Essie) to compare these to, so I cannot make any statements on how they might stand up to those. They did bubble a bit, but considering how old they are, I thought these did quite well.
The Black Pearl Chrome was especially lovely. It’s a dark, somewhat tarnished-looking silver that does indeed resemble photos of black pearls.
Mmm, brushstrokes. Clearly I was a little more careful on the accent nails than on the rest.
And here is her full collection. I may sneak over sometime later and borrow other colors, too. Fun fact: I hadn’t taken these off by the next day, which was the first day of school, so I layered three coats of Butter London Knackered over the top and it looked fabulous.
Nothing here was purchased by me, though I have found these around the internet for prices varying from $4-15 each, depending on where you look.
October is Holo Month, so you will be seeing a lot of rainbow action of all types on my nails. I think my next post (which may be tomorrow or may be next weekend. I’m still figuring out exactly how to manage my energy levels with school.) will be Enchanted Nails I Am The Walrus, a very lovely multichrome holo.
Welcome to the land of parenthetical statements. Buckle up and enjoy the slightly dubious ride.
Over the last while, there have been quite a number of limited sale sites that have popped up. I think Hautelook was the first I remember seeing, but there are many more now. Recently, Cult Nails debuted some very pretty topcoats at a shiny new site, Gloss48 (on hiatus as of 9/16).
Like the polish (and Cult) fiend that I am, I bought all three of the available topcoats, plus a couple of other colors that either hadn’t made it to their recent sale (PRINCESS. You will see that soon.) or that I had passed on.
A few days later, I happened to be at Ulta, looking for a polish that matched my phone case (don’t ask; I just get wild impulses sometimes.) and found that they had a super-secret stash of China Glaze hidden at the back of the store, including the entire Bohemian collection. I decided that the horribly named Want My Bawdy would suffice as a color match. I put it on the next day, decided it wasn’t quite close enough, so I layered on a thin coat of Glitter Gal Hidden Violets, a purple/blue duochrome. Later, I checked my mail to find my Glossy48 order, and promptly tore it open and slapped Alter Ego on top. The results made me feel mildly ‘meh’, so I adjusted with some dots in a-England Excalibur, followed by Essie Matte About You. The shrinkage was epic.
Long walk for a short reward, eh? I also got massively over-zealous when cleaning up my ring finger. Three coats of Bawdy, one each Hidden Violets, Alter Ego, and EMAY, single-dipped dots.
Here’s a soft-focus image so you can see just how shiny Excalibur is. It is the perfect metallic silver, aces for stamping (did I mention I got a pack of Bundle Monster plates recently? I’ve been toying with them, but I think I need to get a better stamper.) and dotting or anything else for which you might want a one-coat silver.
For whatever reason, I didn’t take any bottle pics with this mani. I can’t honestly remember why, but that’s probably the NyQuil speaking. I finally caught the cold that’s been running around my social/work/convention-going group, and am writing under the influence.
Hidden Violets is a blue, purple, reddish, and occasionally you’ll see a flash of teal multichrome. Like all the polishes in that set, it’s extremely sheer and best used as a layering polish. Alter Ego is a pinkish-based golden shimmer that adds a patina’d look to what it is layered over. The combination of the two was rather underwhelming.
This is a picture of the Resident Kitten, Nona, playing with a toy mouse. It has nothing to do with nails, but she was being super-cute while I was taking pictures, so here you are.
Yep, that certainly was a manicure I completed and wore a few days ago. It was notably thoroughly all right. I enjoyed the dotting, but I don’t know that I’d actually use this combo again. It ended up feeling very muddled, though the colors involved were largely pleasing together.
I buy China Glaze mostly at Ulta, Cult Nails generally at Cult Nails (the topcoats are all available now, including two that were not involved in the Glossy48 promo), and I bought Excalibur direct from a-england.
Tomorrow: Something better.
Is that all? Myths and stories can be as real as anything else. They can inspire and broaden your worldview and take you over forever, if you let them. I loved certain of the King Arthur tales when I was a child, and a book called Castles brought many of them to life for me, along with Beowulf and Grendel, and others. I’m not entirely sure what happened to that book; it may still be in a box in storage somewhere, or it may have been given away or sold at some point along the way.
a-england creates beautiful, beautiful colors inspired by myth and legend. She had a sale on the Legends collection recently, and I picked up a few things. The first two I have to show you (along with a relevant Zoya) are Galahad, a turquoise creme, and Morgan Le Fay, a gleaming silver-white that I used as a topcoat. The Zoya, Nimue, is the shimmery dusty purple.
I decided to attempt a sponged gradient manicure with Galahad, but my first attempt went rather badly, ending up significantly more textured than I might have liked. I wiped that off and tried again, this time with colors closer in tone and not quite so aggressively different in finish. Creme to metallic = not such a great idea. Creme to shimmer = a-okay! …or at least, more acceptable.
Nimue is a soft, dusty purple from last fall’s Mirrors collection. It’s described as a metallic “thistle” purple, and that’s pretty accurate for the color, but the finish feels more like it’s just got a very strong silvery shimmer. I painted my two accent nails (left pinky, right thumb) with two coats and sponged several times on all the others. It was easy to work with, though compared to the a-england polishes, everything feels difficult. :) As a point of trivia, Nimue is one of the names accorded to the Lady of the Lake. a-england also has a Lady of the Lake polish, and it is also a dusty purple, but with a holographic finish. You’ll see that one later. :)
Galahad is the most perfect turquoise polish I have yet tried. The formula is amazing, as is the case with all the a-england polishes I have; it goes exactly where you tell it to, dries faster than many, and self-levels. I used one coat as a base on all but my accent nails. The accents didn’t come out perfectly opaque, but I am inclined to blame my technique rather than the polish.
Morgan Le Fay is a sheer polish that I am more inclined to use for layering, but I’ve seen people wearing it alone and it still looks lovely. It looks shimmering and white in the bottle, but gleams silver once on the nail. It’s beautiful and illusory and all of this looked so much better in person. I used one coat over all my nails.
I bought the a-england polishes directly from their website — these do ship from the UK, so it might take longer than you might like, but shipping is free. You can also find them at Llarowe, if you don’t want to risk overseas shipping or your country isn’t among those she ships to direct. The Zoya came from Zoya’s site, though I do see the seasonal collections at Ulta, and sometimes stragglers lurk around for a while after.
Under the cut is my first try at a sponged gradient, this time with Galahad and Excalibur, a brilliant silver a-england polish. It didn’t go so well. I’m still working out the kinks on my technique, and may poke a few other tutorials for ideas.
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!