I'm out of town at a work conference, but I managed to take a few minutes to edit these pictures before I left and upload them so I could work on the blog post whenever I felt like taking a short break from the conference. I'm glad I did, too, because I'm really proud of this mani and I'm happy to be able to share it now rather than having to wait until next week.
The base color is one I just picked up, that I didn't realize was a matte until I used it (though I topcoated it on this manicure, since that was how I expected it to look and didn't plan for a matte) - Sinful Colors Leather Loose. I really love rich brown polishes - I always think my favorite color is green, but my nail polish collection says differently, since brown is by far the most common color - and this one is no different. It has a similar gold shimmer to China Glaze Midtown Magic, though the base brown isn't as dark. MM frequently gets mistaken for black when I use it as a base color, but there is no mistaking Leather Loose as anything but a rich, thick brown, with a deep reddish gold shimmer.
As a matte, it dried to an interesting chalky brown color. It doesn't really remind me of leather in anything but the texture, but I look forward to experimenting with it in the future. But the matte startled me, and wasn't what I had in mind when I started this manicure, but with topcoat the polish looked exactly like I expected it to out of the bottle. Absolutely beautiful.
I used a lot of different polishes on these leaves, and I may have forgotten one because I started putting them back on the shelf before I realized I hadn't written them all down yet. I started out drawing a variety of leaf shapes with Sinful Colors Snow Me White, and then for the various shades of red, yellow, and orange, I know that I used (in no particular order) Primary Beauty Neon Orange, Sinful Colors Courtney Orange, Let's Talk, and Beau Brique, and China Glaze Cranberry Splash and Salsa. Sinful Colors Coffee was used for the brown stems and veins.
I didn't have any particular type of leaf in mind. In fact, I pulled up a diagram on the internet with a dozen different leaf shapes on it (google search "leaf shapes" gives you plenty to choose from!) and just tried to make a variety of them. I didn't manage to do teeth-edged leaves very well, though I tried a few times, but I was happy enough with the end result.
I also wanted a variety of leaf colors, but I wanted the overall result to be predominantly red, because I had already chosen my wardrobe for the conference, and while my outfit bases were white, black, and grey, I used red uniformly for the color splashes so I could mix and match my pieces and therefore pack less for the trip without worrying about anything clashing. So, mostly red, but very Autumn, leaves on my nails. :) I think this is my second-best manicure to date (second, of course, to the violet flowers I did from the BCTC tutorial!)