Time for another round-up! I bought my first roll of striping tape recently, so the past couple manicures have been all about getting the hang of the stuff. I have to say, I like it! It’s not going to keep me from getting polish everywhere, but it definitely makes art easier.
Let’s start with purple. Purple polishes make up one of the largest portions of my collection because, well, I like purple. It’s fun. I decided to use my striping tape to attempt a french manicure. This was the result:
Yeah, so like I said, striping tape isn’t a panacea. It made my lines neater than they otherwise would have been, but that can only go so far when the fact is that I just don’t have steady hands. I also had some problems with Lavender Sky, which is from Avon’s Gel Finish line of polishes. I do like this line – in fact, I own every color they make it in because I like it so much – but this polish, on this day, was just misbehaving. Somehow it managed to be both watery and gloopy; it’s a thin polish, but it begins drying so fast that it can out-dry itself. I ended up with a weird bubble on one thumbnail where the outside of the polish had started drying before the rest of it had had a chance to self-level. On other fingers, when I pulled the tape up moments after applying it to my tips, it had already started to get stringy.
Ah, well. Ignoring the technique bobbles, I still like the effect.
Next, it was time for another trollicure (wondering what I mean by that? See here. Short version: my husband dislikes certain colors because sports. So of course I wear those colors!). This time, the colors I was aiming for were black and gold. Now, I do own a black creme, but it’s not a great formula, and it ends up looking gray and patchy. So I decided to use another polish from the Avon Gel Finish line as a stand-in. Inked Up is a deep, dark blue – so dark that on my swatch sticks, it was pretty much indistinguishable from black. On my fingers, it turned out to register more clearly as dark navy, but I don’t care because it looked so awesome.
This is another striping tape manicure; I laid down one coat of Glimmer, a gold also from the Gel Finish line, let that dry for half an hour, and then placed a strip of striping tape at about french-tip level. Then I covered it with a single coat (yes, a single coat! OCW!) of Inked Up and pulled off the tape. If you look closely, you can see that it’s still not perfect – there are spots where the blue bled into the gold, and vice versa – but it came out neater than the previous manicure. My husband and I both loved this look, he in spite of himself, and I was sad to take it off. So elegant! So simple! I think next time I need a manicure for a wedding or job interview, I might try this one again.
Before I get into the next manicure, a bit of backstory: My husband was traveling this week, and I have a dangerous habit of comforting myself when he’s away by buying makeup. I went into Rite-Aid one day to buy some decongestant and walked out with…all this (hey, and the decongestant!). In my defense, Wet ‘n’ Wild was 40% off, Revlon was BOGO50%, and there were a bunch of new-to-me displays of inexpensive polishes out (satin finish Jesse’s Girl? Yes please!). What else was I supposed to do but buy it all?
As I was swatching the new polishes later that day, I realized that I now have a pretty wide selection of full-coverage, textured glitters, especially in shades of purple. I toyed with the idea of a skittles manicure of purple, blue, gold, and green glitters, but then decided that might be a little too out-there, given that it’s not Mardi Gras. So I settled on a purple ombre effect, instead.
Brushed Copper didn’t quite fit into the purple theme, but I needed a fifth polish to round things out, and it stuck out the least in that role compared to the other textured glitters I pored through.
Though this isn’t a fantastic gradient – I think if I were doing it over again, I’d switch Too Dimensional to my ring finger – it’s still pretty, and when the light hits it, it seems to have a glow of its own.
This is over a peel-off base coat (remove five fingers of hardcore glitter? Ain’t nobody got time for that!), so I don’t expect to get more than a few days’ wear out of it. After that? Hmmm. I have a beautiful Barbie pink from Sinful Colors that has a gold pearl to it, but it’s a bit too bright to do on its own. I’ll have to think about what I can add to it. I’m open to suggestions!