Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NotD – French of Pouting

You may not have noticed, but right now I’m pouting as loudly as I can. I had planned to post a pseudopatriotic manicure – as the 26th is our national holiday – but it sucked so badly I had to remove it without even taking pictures (which I generally do when I fail epically). The red-white-red was decent, mostly even and straight. But the Bundesadler looked like a disastrous cross between a squashed bug, a drippy hedgehog, a run-over chicken and a tarred eagle. It almost made me nauseous.
Therefore I decided to try out the polish my grandmother gave me, since she stopped painting her nails some time ago. Strangely, it isn’t green. I wonder if my great-grandmother wanted my gran to wear green nail polish. In a strange twist of logic I supposedly inherited my former fake redheadedness and face/nail painting ways from her. Even though she just wanted my gran to do aforementioned beautiliciousnesses. Wait… what? I cry cynicism and acknowledge that this intro is much more suited for my rambly blog.
Anyway, the polish way too sheer for me to wear alone, darn yellowing. Thus I did a semi-traditional French manicure.

Here’s what I used:

  • NailTek Foundation II
  • Sally Hansen Diamond Strength
  • Estée Lauder Pure Color C4 Peach Sorbet
  • China Glaze White On White
  • Maybelline Colorama 19 marshmallow
  • Maybelline Colorama glossy nail color 103 tiger eyes
  • Seche Vite

I started with my current base colour application: one coat each of NailTek and Diamond Strength, three of Peach Sorbet and one of Seche Vite.

Peach Sorbet must be one of the safest colours I own, a sheer warm nude with a good amount of subtle silvery and holo microglitter. The effect is naturally shimmery and very pretty, but not ideal for long nails as multiple coats will make the tip look (even more) yellow. As it’s sheer I won’t bother to try and get it opaque. ;-) Use a nude base if you need an opaque nail colour.
I have to admit, this applies beautifully: smooth perfectly even, the glitter is well-dispersed and the polish dries quickly. The brush is a relatively narrow flat one, even ladies and gents with the narrowest of nails will find this easy to work with.
Despite the rather neutral colour I really like this polish, but I really don’t want to know what it cost…

Here’s Peach Sorbet in two coats without top coat:

And this is Peach Sorbet in three coats with Seche Vite:

After the base was mostly dry I mixed marshmallow with White On White to a shimmery, slightly milky white and painted my tips with a short striping brush. This colour is much more wearable than stark white. Then I added a row of small dots in tiger eyes with a slightly bigger one at the centre between the peach/nude and the white areas and sealed the polish with Seche Vite (excuse the bubble on the ring finger, please).

When you paint French tips you’ll notice that if you follow the natural nail line, i.e. where the whitish tip starts, the stronger contrast will emphasize any irregularities. Few people have identical nail lines on all fingers. If you look at the swatch photos above you’ll see that this line is more or less straight on most nails, but the index finger doesn’t play nice and is generally rounded and wonky. So if your nails lines are dissimilar, you have a couple of ways to cheat and even them out.

  • The easiest way is to slightly curve straight lines and straighten overly curvy ones. In this case you’ll have to bring the tip in a bit, so if your nail beds are very short that’s not ideal. And as you can see, it’s not always easy to create a uniform shape.
  • The other method is basically an opaque Funky French in more natural colours: Apply an opaque nude base and create a completely artificial tip. This is also the best way to elongate the nail bed. The main downside is that it’s harder to find the perfect colours for a classic French, finding the perfect opaque nude and a natural white can be a pain.

And because this post is so utterly late (curse you, fowl fiend), here are pictures of my beloved pocket watches. Sadly neither will open to reveal Time Lordiness. They do, however, tell the time rather usefully. I’d like to state that I wore pocket watches on long necklaces years before the whole Steampunk loveliness. I just never could get used to wristwatches. So uncomfy.

This one I picked up from ebay a few years ago. I know nothing about it, but it’s pretty, it works and it was cheap.

And that’s the one my brother gave me for my birthday (mum got me the nice chunky chain). Perfect for days when I don’t want to wear something dainty. And I love the little ‘how long until I need to wind it up’ gauge.

How do you feel about pocket watches? Or Steampunk? Or whatever else you feel the urge to say… I’m in a rambly mood. Feel free to say or ask something completely random.

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