Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Nail Art Challenge #4 All is Full of Love

A stark Enamel White/Piano Black manicure inspired by the video for Bjork's All is Full of Love.

I thought of doing something more classically Valentine themed but just couldn't get the video out of my head. I decided instead to go really really stark and mechanical to match the gorgeous robots in the video and try a new technique while I was at it.

If you are not familiar with either the song or video they are both quite stunning.

All is Full of Love - Bjork (Director:Chris Cunningham)

Between dings, smearing, hairs getting stuck in my topcoat (twice!), and new tool learning curve I'm amazed this came out half so well as it did. This one fought me pretty much from beginning to end.

The colour and very slightly translucent finish of the Essie Marshmallow is just what I was looking for, but I would really like a white that is non-streaky in less than four(!) layers. I am too fidgety to dry, much less maintain nail polish this thick. Every second that I go without a fast dry top coat is another opportunity to get dings, and boy howdy did I ding this up. Luckily the colour was forgiving, but fixing mistakes never comes out quite right.

As far as the black, this was my first time using a striper brush, that was certainly an experience! I can't say as I'll be reaching for that tool again any time soon. I set the initial positioning by laying down tape to get the line straight which worked out pretty well, but it was not down flush (only as a guideline) so I had to pull it up to avoid  the black bleeding under. Even with a target line figuring out and maintaining the right position of my hands to get the brush at the best angle was incredibly awkward. And that was with my GOOD hand!

The black polish got sticky on the brush very fast so it was hard to work slow enough to keep things neat. I used topcoat over the white so I was able to use a file to clean up the black a bit once it dried, but even then the final layer of topcoat somehow smeared the black. *sigh* I did do the full design on both hands and the right came out shockingly good, but I had a lot more problems with smearing on the black on that hand.

You wouldn't think such a simple design would be so fiddly but there was very little room for mistakes here. In the end I'm pretty happy with how it came out, though I do think it would look much better if the white was not as built up. A vertical line probably would have been more flattering to the length of my nails but that would be too close to my last challenge mani.

I expect I will be removing this pretty soon as the white is not holding up well. The Poshe polish is easier in some ways but doesn't seem to hold up like Seche Vite. I think I may have to take down the length of my nails a bit as well as my typing accuracy is questionable even in the best of circumstances.

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