What a wonderful A/W season for nails this is, particularly if you like to play with different effects. It seems like anything goes, we've got different colored glimmers and sparkles which is almost bog standard these days and then the more outlandish; real feathers, foil, ombre, gradient, confetti, sugar crush, velvet, matte and my personal favourite - caviar.
When Ciaté launched their Caviar manicure, it was a look that was completely different from anything else I had ever seen - it was new, fresh, fun and playful. I did think that the original Ciaté sets were quite expensive for what is essentially different colored micro beads which you can pick up in any arts and crafts store or on eBay, but luckily the look was quickly copied by other more affordable brands and you can now easily get lovely color mixes on the high street to create interesting looks. Now, I know that nail caviar isn't to everyone's liking for various reasons and although it of course makes a very striking look to wear it on every nail, I personally prefer to have just one or maybe even two accent nails on each hand with caviar, leaving the others with a plain polish to balance the spectacular look, which is exactly what I'm showing in today's Manic. Monday.
One of my most loved nail polish brands is OPI - they have gorgeous shades, the formula is great and it is purse friendly. The shade I'm wearing in the photo is I don't give a Rotterdam which is a muted Cambridge blue with silvery grey undertones. It's an unusual subdued shade with subtle shimmer that creates almost a 3D effect that creates a look that is sleek and stylish but also severe and cool. The OPI brushes aren't particularly wide, but the formula is creamy, quick drying and gives a lovely and satin like streak free finish. I find this particular shade quite sheer and in the photos I'm wearing 3 coats to get a fairly solid and opaque base.I find that OPI usually lasts 3-4 days before it starts to chip, which in my book is pretty decent. But when it did start to chip after a few days I thought I would add some fun to it by adding some caviar.
The caviar mix I have used in the photo is the Bourjois Toppings 03 Maliblue which is a lovely mix of blue and grey shades; dark, matte prussian blue, vibrant navy blue, cool grey and shimmery silver. The trick to applying caviar is to work on one nail at a time and to first cover your nail with a fairly thick coat of based polish in whatever shade you choose, and then to pour over the beads before the nail polish dries. When you've covered the nail, gently tap or press down the pearls into the polish and perhaps even add some more to ensure that you get a really dense and even spread of beads. I never use a top coat, since I personally think that it ruins the effect, however it is a personal choice and it may last a bit longer if you do use a top coat. What I do instead is that I take a little bit of top coat and just seal the very tip of the nail to make it a little bit more resistant to wear and tear. It dries surprisingly quickly and if you have pressed the beads into the polish they'll set really well, although I would recommend that you take the next 15 mins or so for some well deserved me time. Make yourself a coffee or tea, sit back and read a magazine and just let it dry properly.
You might think that this is a very impractical look and as soon as you do anything the beads will come off. On me this will last approximately 3 days and I still put the manicure through every day things like washing up, cooking, showers, tapping on a keyboard all day long etc. I may need to touch up the beads a little bit by filling in the odd little chip, but in general it lasts about the same as most standard nail polishes - not bad for being such an extravagant look.
I am ridiculously fond of this 3D frivolous and fanciful look and have quite a few caviar mixes to match with different shades. For this particular look I think the caviar takes away the edge of the strictness and cold of the OPI shade and adds something unexpected. I sometimes wear caviar at work to break up the corporate suit look, adding an element of unpredictability and mischievousness - in short a bit of personality!
I love how creative and expressive so many are with their nail art, and
the only limitations are our own imagination. Do you experiment with
different effect nail polishes, and do you have a favourite?