Friday, June 12, 2015

MOON MANI | Christian Louboutin Sweet Charity and Kohl Review, Photos, Swatches

While I was in New York City last month, my friend Cat took me to get a manicure at tenoverten in Soho. I requested tuxedo-inspired nail art to match my new handbag, but the finished design, upon closer inspection, was crooked and uneven. This is my attempt to recreate the vision for the perfect half-moon manicure using Christian Louboutin Beauté Sweet Charity and Kohl. How-to directions and tips after the jump!

I started by priming my nails with the Loubi Nail Care Kit base coat, which I actually wear on its own whenever I take a break from color. The shiny nourishing formula noticeably strengthens and replenishes my nails! I waited for the base to dry completely before neatly applying the semi-transparent Sweet Charity nail polish to every nail. I used three thin coats.

Once Sweet Charity had set, I painted a rough moon shape on each nail with Kohl, which is so pigmented that only 1 coat is required! I then used a small, stiff nail art brush dipped in Kohl to smooth and crisply define the edges of the moons. This is far more difficult to do with regular nail polish as opposed to gel, but luckily, I have a steady hand. If you find free-hand design challenging, I recommend trying paper hole reinforcement stickers as as guides. I used French manicure guides during my first attempt because I thought they would be helpful. Instead, they warped the finish of Sweet Charity and made a huge gloopy mess, so I started from scratch again.

My moons did turn out deeper than I had anticipated (due to the layering to ensure evenness), but I actually find it more modern this way. Once I was satisfied with every moon and the polish started to set, I cleaned up the cuticles with acetone and a square nail brush. Then I completed the manicure with the Loubi top coat, which smoothes the nails remarkably well.

To be entirely frank, this deceptively easy-looking moon manicure was perhaps more difficult than the Jackson Pollack nail art I did a couple months back. Both required 4 hours, but I was straining my eyes and my neck a lot more while perfecting the lines of these moons. It was worth all the effort, though, because I adore how the softer vanilla tone of Sweet Charity looks when paired against ultra rich, true black Kohl. The contrast in colors and textures truly elevate this moon manicure, giving it an edgy vibe. The overall look of the manicure is polished but still retains a hint of femininity.

Some of you might be curious as to why I use Louboutin for my nail art in place of other polishes like Tom Ford, Chanel or Dior. In my experience, Louboutin polishes dry the most evenly when applied correctly. They do not pool or bubble. They also dry relatively quickly, given their denser formulas! As I play with more nail polish designs and just in general, I find myself reaching for Louboutin colors most often. Even my Korean manicurist Susanna can't stop raving about them! She constantly reminds me to bring in different shades because she enjoys painting with them so much. She says Louboutin's Nudes like Sweet Charity and Tres Decolletes also self-level the best (unlike many OPI or Essie nudes), which is very helpful in case you don't have a steady hand.

Lastly, it is important to note that as with most designer nail polishes, avoid using Seche Vite and other drugstore quick-dry top coats. They cause major shrinking and will ruin your nail color/design. The only quick-dry top coats I use on top of my polishes are by Butter London and Dior. I only use Dior's occasionally because it is not as shiny or as long-lasting as Butter's. To finish my Louboutin nail colors, however, I try to use only Louboutin's Loubie Nail Kit top coat since there is no shrinking or distortion of the edges whatsoever.

Give this statement nail art a try, and let me know in the comments below what nail designs you would like to see next!

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