Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Mani(c) Monday: Why I should swatch before I make "ze arts"

So I realize this says Mani Monday and it's being posted on Tuesday.  My intended schedule is to do new manis on Mondays, swatch/reviews on Saturdays, and a lifestyle/catching up post somewhere mid-week, moving forward.  I learned a valuable lesson yesterday - always swatch new stuff before starting a mani.  I also realize that should've been common sense, but my brain works... differently.

It has been a bit warmer than last week, but although it's not raining, the air is heavy and laden with lots of moisture.  Isis and I went to the dog park yesterday, first thing, because I wanted to wear her out a little bit before I went grocery shopping.  Last weekend we had an "incident" - hubby and I walked down to the Onion Fayre and after a bit of conversation about it, he convinced me that we shouldn't take her with us.  After we'd been home for about an hour we left again to go to the store.  When we returned, she had let us know exactly what she thought of us leaving her twice in one day by demolishing the vinyl flooring at the back door leading into the conservatory, and scratching up a bit of the door as well.  Since then, we've been a bit more diligent about taking her for long walks to work off some of that excess energy.  ANYWAY... so we walked through the arboretum and I noticed that my sneakers have worn out and my feet started getting wet because, as I said, the air is... moist.  Long story short, the dog didn't destroy anything while I was out, but I need to buy new tennies.

As I write this, I've now got a weeping eyeball, because apparently I didn't get all the oil off my hands when I washed them after chopping up a jalapeno and a couple of apache chilies to throw in the slow cooker this morning.  This is what happens when you cook before you're fully awake, folks.  One minute I was scratching an itchy spot on the corner of my eye, and for the past couple hours I've been dabbing tears fairly consistently from it.  *sigh*

Anyway... enough faffing.  Let's take a look at the INTENDED manicure from yesterday.

So I picked up a bottle of Barry M Croc Effect polish in Burgundy (NP343) and thought it would look great paired with the gold foil effects polish I picked up the same day.  Unfortunately, I didn't think to swatch it or test it before I went to make the mani, and let's just say I am not impressed with the formula.

I followed the instructions to the letter.  First I applied a base coat of the gold polish.  I waited about a minute til it was touch-dry, and then topped it with a thin layer of the croc effect.  I then waited patiently for about 3 minutes before it finally starting DOING something.  I waited for probably a full 10 minutes before I felt like the polish had stopped moving.  Now, I had assumed this product would act similarly to the crackle effect polishes, only maybe in a different pattern.  Unfortunately it didn't give me the results for which I was hoping.  Let's skip the description and go straight to the pics, shall we?

I got a sort-of croc on my ring finger but the middle finger didn't do much of anything that looked like anything.  Here are some closeups from both hands.
Right hand
Left hand
As you can see, the results are not as promised.  I'm very disappointed with this product overall.  Not much else to say about it, really.  I may practice with it some more in the future to see if I can get it to work properly, but honestly I feel like I have better ways to spend my time these days.

So, I scrubbed the whole thing off and decided to sponge on a fall gradient, and with a little inspiration from Globe and Nail, decided to try a reciprocal gradient effect.

I used three colors in this gradient, two from Collection Hot Looks in shade 65 Scorched and 66 Aztec Gold, and a tiny unmarked bottle of oxblood colored polish that I picked up for 50p in the discount box at Tesco.

First I sponged the three colors on my nails in two coats.  Then I topped it with SV (Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat) so that I could apply the striping tape for the reciprocal effect on my middle and ring fingers.

Once I had applied the striping tape on the two fingers, I applied another two coats of the sponged gradient in the reverse order.  Once that set (but not dried), I removed the striping tape and topped again with the SV to seal it in.

So what do you think?  Is this a look you'd try, or do you wish I'd had better results with the gold/burgundy croc nails?