Saturday, December 1, 2012

Variegated Black Leaf

Here's another manicure inspired by my large collection of forgotten art supplies. I give you the Variegated Black Leaf manicure!

Variegated Black Leaf is a type of metal leaf. Metal leaf is a very thin foil used for decorating surfaces. It comes in all different colors and types, from pure gold to imitation. In my opinion, Variegated Black Leaf looks as if an oil spill took place on a lake of molten gold. It's beautiful.

I've been toying with the idea of using it in a manicure for a while but I wasn't sure where to start. My first attempt didn't turn out very well so I set the idea aside but I've finally decided to revisit it.

I wanted some color under the metal leaf in case the application was uneven. So, I started off by painting my nails using Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow. Then, in order to get a nice golden finish, I added a coat of L.A. Colors Wave Length. I seriously love this color for layering! Yey cheap polish!

After my nails were completely dry, I brushed on a thin layer of white craft glue. I used PVA, a pH neutral water soluble adhesive. I allowed it to get tacky before carefully laying the Variegated Black Leaf over my nails. I then smoothed the metal leaf using a cotton swab. I repeated the process a second time in order to get a more varied look and to fill in a few small spots where the leaf didn't adhere. 

I had some slight creases here and there. The finish didn't appear perfectly smooth. Instead, it had more of a burnished look, though it felt smooth to the touch. In an attempt to disguise this, I applied a thick coat of China Glaze Luxe and Lush. Oddly enough though, you can't even see it. I think the flakes in the polish are too similar in color to the metal leaf. If I move my hand just right I can catch a bit of the color shift but it is very subtle. 

I'm still very happy with this, even if it isn't as flawless as I'd hoped it would be. It's so lovely in person!


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