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making faces :: spring flings [part 1]

got a bit o' the spring fever?
i know i'm probably cursing this, but the weather forecast would indicate that we in montreal might actually be getting a spring equinox that feels like, well, spring. although today it was a little chilly, the last few days have been delightfully mild and humid not in that damp & cold winter way, or in that hot & sticky summer way, but in that "ice is turning to water and life is returning to the land" way that only happens in spring.

plus, of course, just before the spring equinox, you have the festival of st. patrick's day, patron saint of ireland, known for driving the snakes out of that country although, if you know anything about snakes, they were probably more than willing to leave of their own accord, since the climate wasn't what you'd call accommodating. what you might not know is that the original colour associated with st. patrick's day was blue. so if you're being strictly traditional, you should be drinking blue beer, dying your face blue, etc. but we aren't orthodox here on more like space, so we're going to go with the idea that the grand event [which is really more of a marketing ploy by guinness breweries at this point, but how many other holidays are there that encourage you to go drinking? case closed] is green. and besides, what colour is more emblematic of spring than the green of the first shoots of grass, the first buds on the trees, the first uncovered dog turd you left on the street thinking that the snow would magically take it away? springtime and st. patrick's are all about green nowadays.

so in honour of the changing of the seasonal guard, i've decided to offer a few choices in the spirit of the season- greens for eyes and nails [i'd include lips, but greens for lips are hard to come by], plus natural shades for lips and cheeks to mimic the healthy bloom we all develop when we first start running around naked screaming "oh my god! it's actually warm again!" until some stuffy neighbour calls the cops and... well, i've said too much.

suffice to say that it's a great season to combine the artistry of "fake nature" with seasonal green accents.

to kick things off, i thought i'd share a few of my favourite green nail polishes. there are lots of these around because offbeat colours on the nails are surprisingly accepted even in fairly conservative organisations [you might get a funny look if you're a nun], so you can feel free to play with shades that you'd feel uncomfortable modelling on your lips or cheeks [or perhaps even your eyes].

just to make sure that everything is clear: i suck at applying nail polish and i'm even worse at photographing it, but i hope you'll be able to get the gist of each shade, at least.

essie :: sew psyched :: i'd call this a khaki shade, but it has a little too much blue/ grey happening. i do think that some day i'd love to paint a room this colour. for a shade that's clearly green, it's surprisingly businesslike. as in, i think you could get away with making an appearance in court with it. i find that this is the power of muted shades on the nails. their understated quality goes a long way to overcoming the fact that they're an odd kind of colour.

this is a creamy shade with no shimmer, which means it can look a little uneven if you don't get the application exactly right [which i never do]. although i still struggle, essie's cream formulas are probably the best i've found, so they look pretty smooth even when you don't really know what you're doing. two coats was enough to get complete opacity.

nail polish rarely lasts more than a couple of days on me without looking a little ragged, but essie polishes generally give me more of a grace period than anyone else.

best venue for this shade? sneaking a bit of the irish into your stuffy office. along with a bottle of jameson in a brown bag for when things get really annoying.

natural light
with flash


SEE FOUR MORE SHADES AFTER THE BREAK


chanel :: peridot :: the chatreuse gemstone for which this is named is pretty enough, but it really can't hold a candle to the shade chanel named in its honour. released originally last fall, it seems to have been incorporated into the permanent line-up [or at least is still available through many channels] and no wonder. it's an incredible shifting shade combining a yellow-green base, gold shimmer and flash of blue-violet under certain light. it reminds me of the sort of shades you see on a beetle shell or a dragonfly's wings, fascinating and always changing. 

i don't always love chanel formulas, but their releases from last fall really seemed exceptional. this one goes on very smoothly and is very forgiving even if you mess things up a little [high shimmer finishes tend to be].  2-3 coats gets you an opaque finish [2 is probably enough, but 3 will give you a little extra dimension]. 

i'd rate this as above average in terms of the wear time [again, shimmer finishes tend to be better that way], meaning i can get 3-4 days before i start showing serious signs of wear along the tips. [assuming i haven't knocked a chip off somewhere, which usually happens.]

best venue for this shade? having a posh night out with the girls and snagging yourself a rugby player or footballer with good stamina.


natural light

with flash

natural- to show the blue reflect

opi :: stranger tides :: although i generally hate movie or celebrity collaborations, i have to admit that this shade from opi's "pirates of the caribbean" collection is one of my absolute favourites. it's a pale, almost pistachio green with a lot of grey to it, so it really has a sort of sea foam quality to it, without the sort of bad bridesmaid dress connotations that "sea foam" usually carries. it certainly looks like the sort of washed out shade you'd find on a foggy stretch of coastline in the north atlantic.

this is another cream shade and one that i'm pleased to say blew me away with its ease of use. i find that there is a wide variation in the quality of opi polishes [not surprising, given how many there are], but this one really stands out as one of their finest. it goes on incredibly evenly, takes only two coats to achieve a nice, opaque finish and lasts a surprisingly long time, even on a klutz like me.

best venue for this shade? in a weather-beaten cottage on a craggy outpost of rocks, descending to the stormy sea, writing poetry and relishing solitude.


natural light

flash

spa ritual :: optical illusion :: it came as news to me that glitter polishes had grown up since the eighties, when i associated them chiefly with girls with crimped, teased hair and bright blue eyeliner who had already left high school to embark on a career in the fast food arts. now they've become, if not sophisticated, at least a little more nuanced, which means that you can wear them even if you're supposed to be an adult. 

this is a real green-lover's green, a swampy, earthy base shade, with a jelly-like, semi sheer consistency, suffused with gold and green glitter like gemstones dropped in a pond. there's enough sparkle that this one looks pretty amazing day or night, because there's always something to catch the eye. 

because the base colour is never entirely opaque, the number of layers you use is completely up to you. i used three for these photos, but two would be fine as well- you'd just see a little more of the nail line peeking through. 

the wear time on glittery polishes is generally impressive and this is no exception. i have to say that this was a happy surprise, since other spa ritual colours, while undeniably beautiful, have yielded the shortest wear times of any polishes i've tried. like most glitter polishes, this one is tricky to remove but if you're patient, it goes fairly smoothly. 

best venue for this shade? at the end of the rainbow, enjoying the gold.

with flash

natural light

Comments

Biba said…
Yay for seeing your manicures! I love Sew Psyched!
Kate MacDonald said…
Aw, thanks Biba :-) Sew Psyched is definitely one of my favourites, just because it's such a wearable but still intriguing colour.

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