Monday, December 17, 2012

Deck the Nails: Good Idea, Bad Idea

During my search for the perfect festive red glitter polish (which is still on-going, I might add), I ran across this little monster in an Ulta 5 for $5 bin. Don't even bother looking for it online--my guess is that even they're ashamed of it. I can't even find where anyone's ever swatched or blogged about it before. It's like it doesn't really exist. Wow. I also can't tell you the real name of it, because the label I have says "Wicked", and Ulta has a different polish labeled "Wicked" on the site. Seriously, I'm flummoxed. All I can say is if you see a bottle of Ulta nail polish that has giant chunks of red glitter in a black base, RUN AWAY.

*UPDATE! It's called "Fashionably Late". I have other names for it...*

Make it stop. Please.

I hate, loathe, and despise this polish. It's not even pretty on. What you see, in the photo above, is three coats. I managed to capture this on camera just before the glitter began peeling off. That's right, peeling off. It got caught on everything imaginable, and within an hour, I already had noticeable chipping. Granted, I didn't use a top coat, but the polish was already so goopy, the base polish so streaky, and the glitter so haphazard (and not in a cute way), that I didn't see any point in prolonging the misery. I wore this from Thursday until Sunday, and was never so happy to remove a polish. By the time I began to attempt to take it off (oh, yeah, it was an ordeal...more on that later), Thomas asked me if it was a crackle polish. No.

To remove this, I started with my usual glitter removal method: cotton pads soaked in non-acetone remover and applied to the nails. Usually, after a couple of minutes of this, the polish whisks off of the nail, and only a small amount of scrubbing is required for thelingering sparkles. Not this time. Oh, no. This time, I soaked the nails...then scrubbed...then soaked some more...then scrubbed some more...then eventually used my finger nail to scrape...then scrubbed some more...for about an hour. No kidding. I finally got all of the polish and glitter off, but I started to think I was going to be stuck with silver glitter on my nails forever. Oh--the polish remover took the red off of the glitter, but the silver undercoat was still there, and it was still stuck to my nails.

This is going in the trash. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Not only that, it might be my pick for worst polish of the year. I just need to figure out what it's called. I'm going with, "The-polish-that-shall-not-be-named".

On the opposite end of the spectrum, here's my pick for mani of the season: the Louboutin Manicure. The concept is very simple. You simply paint your nails with a shiny black varnish (I added sparkles on an accent nail. Adele did hers in silver for the Grammy's. You can be creative), then color the underside of each nail red, like the signature Louboutin sole.


As simple as the concept is, the execution is much more difficult and detailed. This definitely not a "slap on as you run out the door" nail look. To start with, you'll need to make sure that your nails have grown out long enough for the underside to be visible. You also will need to make sure that the undersides are completely clean and free of nail "dust" from filing. Paint your base coat, and add any embellishment you're going to, then let dry completely. For the undersides, choose a red that is opaque and bright. The one I used was a little too sheer, so some of the black polish from the front is still showing through (it's Ulta Red Carpet Red, in case you were wondering. Love the shade, but it's just too sheer for this. The black is the nail duo by The New Black). If you're feeling fancy, you can paint the very edge of your nail red, too. Finish with a top coat (just on the front of the nail and edge).

Now, get ready to do some clean-up, because painting the underside of your nail red without looking like you've done yourself a major injury is downright impossible. If you're in a hurry, a q-tip with polish remover should work well. If not, paint them in the evening, once you're in for the night, and just wait it out. By the time I'd finished my shower the next morning, the majority of the mistakes had rubbed off, and the errors on my finger tips peeled off easily.

It's not the most out-there of nail designs, but it's a lot of fun, and a cute little discovery for anyone observant enough to spot. It's also completely appropriate for anything from office cocktail parties to ugly sweater contests. Have fun!

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