Friday, May 13, 2011

Ugly Pretty? Nubbins and My Obsession with Bacterium

I have such a hard time once my nails get into the 4-6mm length past the nail bed. I love them, but they are prone to cracking at the base. This time, they were very strong, but I snapped off the corners of three in almost as many days and had to chop them down.

Realization One: My nail beds really aren't that much longer than when I started all this, I'm fine with that, but I think I was deluding myself that they were.

Realization Two: This damp spring has made my cuticles just go crazy. I had some "Beauty Secrets" nail oil that I had to dump out because it was just making things worse. Ugh. I'm sticking to cremes and only using oil for between manicures. I've also not only put glycerine in my acetone, but cut it with water, too. Too strong and it leaves a white residue on my skin and it's too drying. Still works very well. I use foil and cloth removal by habit, so a dilute acetone still works.

Realization Three: I need to figure out how to get the scraggles off. I can deal with cuticles at the edge of the nail bed, but it's around the outside that is a battle royal.

So, now it's short nail time. I have a hard time thinking my shortie nails are super pretty, but I'm learning to love them.


Back to Ugly Pretty.

I've also been reading about Illamasqua's Toxic Nature collection and am distracted by Bacterium, a "pearlescent ash ochre" at first I thought how disingenuous it was to serve up such ugliness. But it's kind of not ugly, it's kind of "ugly pretty" (To quote Tyra Banks)

Since I have many more polishes much higher on the wishlist, Bacterium will never be anything that I aspire to owning. Or maybe, I already own it. In another version...let's look at some combos...

Combo 1

Sally Hansen Barely There layered with Wet'n'Wild Ice Blue Pearl.

First a closer examination of Barely there. This is three coats. It's an orange-y bronze brushtrokey shimmer. What can possibly improve a color that just isn't my "thing"?

Can Wet'n'Wild Ice Blue Pearl do the job?

Well, who knows?

Can't say that this is a thrill-a-minute combination.

Combo 2

Unnamed Markwin brown shimmer layered with Sally Hansen Python Purple.

Python Purple is an old "New Lengths" slope shouldered bottle, it is kind of blah alone, so in keeping with this whole "ugly pretty theme" I wondered if ugly pretty could work for it.

Not wholly unsuccessful, though the formula of Sally Hansen oldies is always a bit touchy.

Here is the polishes in the bottle:

I think Python Purple is a little less blue in real life, but surprisingly, it came out of the gate as a decent layering polish.

Ugly? Not sure? Combining blue and brown has been a full on style win for most of the decade. A bulk of the time I see brown with light blue or aqua. Perhaps we shall try yet another...

Combo 3

Elle Elle (LDL) #202 layered with Wet'n'Wild Ice Blue Pearl

A shimmering changeling that is probably as close as I can get to the original Bacterium. Why? I pretty much don't have an affinity for these types of colors. I've got Maybelline Galaxy and another frosty pastel taupe, so I figured, why buy those ugly toffee colors are kind of a sneaky joke on polish fans.

So, I would need something darker...but...I kind of like the blue pop:

The more I look at Bacterium, the less I like it and the more I like my "Ugly Pretty" layering attempts. No, there is no duochrome, but there is that oddness. Murk below, pearl/shimmer on top.

I think I could look back at some of the old Sally Hansen bottles I found at the Dollar Tree and see yellow or green blooms of weirdness at the bottom, or oxidization in the Lemon Water that looks like a rust spot, etc and think of decay. Oh, and anyone who has picked up an old piece of lunch meat and seen that rainbow shimmer knows the inspo for Bacterium. ;D

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!


  1. I so love your layering posts!

    And if you ever want to get rid of Python Purple, I would be happy to swap for it. :)

  2. Hey!
    I just sold it in the blog sale!

    Don't feel bad, it's photographing much better than it looks in real life.



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