I’ve spent part of my summer focusing on my passions: I’ve written a lot, watched lots of movies I never had the chance to watch before and I experimented new manicures! I won’t miss summer for the high temperatures we had here in the North-East of Italy, but I will surely miss the beautiful summer light, ideal if you want to take pictures of your manicures, especially the glittering ones. This is what I wore on my nails in August 2012; as usual, feel free to comment and give me advices on how to improve my works.
For my first August manicure, I used another blue polish, thus following the July trend. I picked China Glaze Dorothy Who? from my stash. I love this shade, which is part of The Wizard of Ooh Ahz collection, released in 2009 : it’s a beautiful blue jelly base with silver glitters. I applied three coats of it to achieve a good coverage.
The ombré glitter manicure above is an experiment which I’m quite proud of. I used two coats of China Glaze Ruby Pumps and a mix of glittering nail polishes (OPI Sparkle-icious and Rainbow Connection) on tips. The result is a bit festive and Christmassy, but still nice. Don’t you agree?
I’ve tried to do polka-dot manicures many times, but there was always something wrong with my dotting technique. After trying the classic metal dotting tool and tooth picks, I decided to use something different – tailor pins. They’re just perfect: you dip the round pinhead into the nail polish bottle and use it to make dots. I opted for a multicolour manicure, which I did using a nude base (a nameless colour by Orly) and a series of colourful varnishes - Kiko 340 and 294 (blue and baby blue), Mavala Paris, Essie Lovie Dovie, Essence Break Through and Wake Up, Illamasqua Rare. Now that I’ve found the secret for a nice polka-dot mani, I think I’ll take advantage of it.
If you like taking pictures of your mani, you know some nail polishes can give you a lot of trouble because their effects are very hard to capture. Think of holos, for example: they contain an impressive number of glitters which change colour according to the light. I had a hard time in taking pics of the manicure above for this reason: I took many pictures of it, but no one seems to show exactly the beautiful holo effect of the top coat I used. First, I applied two coats of China Glaze Agent Lavender (a pale lavender shade) and two coats of Essence Hello Holo, which has quickly become my favourite top coat. I’ve used it on a light colour only, but I want to try to pair it to a darker shade.
I took this picture at night, by the dim lights above my kitchen cooker, and I think it’s the only one which gives a good idea of the lovely holo reflects of the top coat. Seriously, if you don’t own a bottle of Hello Holo yet, go and grab one: it’s magic, more than China Glaze Fairy Dust. I think it’s quite safe to say that the Essence topper is like Fairy Dust on holo steroids.
Another mani I did this month is a half-moon one. I like the traditional white and red or gold and blue combos, but this time I wanted to do something different. I opted for a silver base (two coats of Orly Shine) and for a dark red shade (three coats of Essence Fateful Desire, a gorgeous burgundy, a very peculiar shade). I’m very happy with the result: applying nail polish over the adhesive half moons is never easy, but this time I used a nail brush (Kiko 405). A nail brush is more precise than the brush included in the bottle of nail polish; it’s true it takes more time to apply varnish with a thin brush, but I think it’s totally worth it.
I usually post pics of one hand, because I take my own pictures, but this is an exception – I asked my daughter to take it for me. You can see the half moons on the right hand are not as precise as the ones on the left hand, but this is due to my lack of exercise. I’ll try to improve my skills
I’ve built most of my nail polish collection with online purchases: China Glaze, Illamasqua and Deborah Lippmann are some of the brands I love which are not sold in Italy, so you need to buy them online. I rarely buy nail polishes at shops (only Mavala and Essence), but I’m generally happy with them. Probably the worst experience I had is a Layla Mirror Effect nail polish I bought some days ago. I was so excited about this one! I love silver nail polishes (the shade I bought is called Metal Chrome) and I love the mirror effect, so this one sounded amazing. Maybe the problem is mine, because my nails are far from perfect, but I must admit this nail polish emphasized every single ridge and imperfection, not cool. Obviously I filed and buffed the nails before applying it, as recommended, but still. Moreover (and this is the worst part), it started chipping after less than 24 hours, even if I had applied a top coat. What can I say? The effect is magical, truly mirror, but the preparation and the longevity are a nightmare. Before putting it into my swap basket, I want to try applying a top coat as a base: I read it can be a good solution. I’ll let you know.
After the Layla disappointment, I wanted to do something summery and sparkling, so I opted for another blue manicure. I applied two coats of Kiko 340 nail polish and then used two Essence top coats to finish the manicure – Glorious Aquarius (already seen here) and Hello Holo. I love the combination between turquoise nail polishes and Glorious Aquarius, but I’m a bit surprised by Hello Holo. I loved it on a very light shade but turquoise doesn’t bring out its complexity.
This is the last mani of August: I used a brand new Kiko nail polish – Silk Taupe, a limited edition shade. I love holo nail polishes, but I’ve never owned a gold one; for this reason, I snatched a bottle of Silk Taupe as soon as I saw it. The colour is very refined (pale gold) and the holo effect (which includes pink, violet, gold and a tinge of green) is subtle, as well.
Last but not least, here is the latest addition to my stash. It’s not a nail polish but a set of nail wraps, created by Nail Rock for the spring/summer 2012 runway show by Meadham Kirchhoff. As a lover of all things MK, I bought a set of these adorable nail wraps on ASOS before it went out of stock. I don’t think I will ever use them: the application of nail wraps can be quite tricky and I don’t want to waste nail wraps trying to apply them right.
Stay tuned for an upcoming Diary of a Nail Polish Addict post: I’ve got something special in store… It’s not a giveaway, sorry, but I hope you’ll appreciate it anyway.
 The 2009 collection is a re-issue, since the first Wizard of Ooh Ahz collection was launched in 2001.