Thursday, March 1, 2012

My first ruffian!! With Essie Navigate Her and Armed & Ready!

Thursday already?? I can hardly believe it, but yesterday just flew by even though  I wallered around in bed all day feeling crummy. Luckily I feel better today, my throat is still scratchy but I'm not all weak and tired anymore. Yay!

Let's get to the good stuff shall we? My very first ruffian manicure! I was so scared to attempt this free handed but when I finally took the plunge it turned out amazing and I've had tons of compliments. My coworkers can't believe I did it myself and my hunny likes it too. 

I thought I'd give you the "money shot" first, as these first two photos are the finished product with a shiny coat of SV: 

Ruffian with Essie Navigate Her and Armed & Ready

Ruffian with Essie Navigate Her and Armed & Ready

The rest of these photos are without any top coat. I started with my usual basecoat combo of Seche Retain and Gelous followed by two coats of Essie Navigate Her, a beautiful and creamy pistachio green. Avacado, if you prefer. :) Navigate Her was easy to apply and dries very shiny on its own. But I used a single coat of OPI Top Coat as a little bit of insurance for my ruffian application. I read that if you use a layer of top coat between your base color and your accent you can use a brush to clean up lines if you need to. Luckily, I pulled this bad boy off free hand! And on both hands too!!

Armed & Ready was the accent color I used and what you see here is just a single coat. It covered Navigate Her very well but I can't say how it covers on its own, unfortunately. It was easy to manipulate and dried very quickly. It wasn't runny at all and that made shaping my ruffian very easy. I started with a decent sized drop of polish on my brush and laid it down in a single swipe down the middle before using the remaining polish on the brush to shape the curve. I went back to the bottle to fill in the rest and even out coverage but it really is only one coat.

Essie - Armed & Ready

Essie - Armed & Ready

Do you see that amazing shimmer in Armed & Ready?! It is incredible! When I first saw swatches of this color I thought it was going to be a dark, muddy brown with golden shimmer but it turns out it is an amazing "true" olive brown/green with a golden shimmer. And when I say true olive I mean it looks like an olive. lol Yummy. The color combo looks good together, very complimentary.

Unfortunately, unless there is direct light, you look closely, or are outside you can't really see that shimmer but it does give dimension to the polish. The photos below show more realistically how Armed & Ready looks most of the time for me.

Essie - Armed & Ready

Essie - Armed & Ready

Essie - Armed & Ready

Just for fun, here are some photos of Navigate Her before I added my top coat buffer and ruffian accent layer. Shiny huh? I'm wondering which CND Effects polish would look best layered over this... I can't wait to wear it again, so pretty.

Essie - Navigate Her

Essie - Navigate Her

Essie - Navigate Her

Lamp light gives Navigate Her a more grassy look, but it is much more mellow in person. I should say, also, that I did this manicure Sunday night and it's still wearing strong with just regular tip wear. Actually, the tip wear is a little interesting on this mani. The SV and brown/olive of A&R have worn away leaving just NH and some bare nail showing, but mostly NH! Something else I found interesting with this style of nail art is that it makes my long nails look shorter. A flattering way to wear a dark color on my long nails, yay! Hooray for optical illusions, and hooray for my first (and successful) attempt at freehand nail art!


Essie - Navigate Her

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