Monday, December 7, 2009

Snowflake Obsidian

Hello ladies,

Today's manicure was an experiment brought on by a quest for understanding.  Viewing swatches of Lippmann's  Funky Chunky over the past several months really compelled me to seek the meaning behind it. I have been very pleased with the application and color palette of other Lippmann polishes. I was genuinely surprised to encounter a release that inspired so much controversy amongst polish lovers. I wondered if there were a way to make this polish work outside the glossy and often extreme stylings of fashion week. 

Judy from Beauty Judy lent me her bottle of Funky Chunky with kindness, a measure of skepticism and wishes for good luck. Let's revisit the swatches of Funky Chunky that heightened my already curious nature:  Scrangie, Polish Mayhem, The Hungry Asian, and Beauty Judy

My goal was to be able to see the black hexagons in the finished manicure and work with the overly opaque formula without dilution or frankening. I decided to do an edgy look that my inner goth girl would appreciate. I thinly layered Funky Chunky over Sweet As Sugar from Diamond Cosmetics. I decided to use China Glaze Matte Magic to freeze the black hexagons, the inky wash of color and the peachy shimmer particles beneath. I added a holographic line up the center of each nail with an Art Club striper called Hologram Glitter. The holographic appears silver in some of the pictures since I was working with a natural lamp and overcast outdoor lighting. 

I found the formula of Funky Chunky highly difficult to apply. The black was so opaque that there was no way to discern where the glitter pieces were resting on the brush. Using traditional brush strokes whisked glitter onto the cuticle area and sides of the nail. I experienced working with a brush almost empty of polish and dabbing it in short strokes distributed the glitter fairly evenly and created a stain of color on the nail. I discovered using the matte topcoat added more depth so the black hexagons became distinct from the base color. 

Layering Funky Chunky over a pale glitter made the look more textural and less messy than applying the polish directly over a base coat. It's a shame the sun didn't appear today to highlight the frozen shimmer particles beneath the grey. I will warn you that two coats of Diamond Sweet As Sugar is so pretty that putting Funky Chunky over it might not be the most instinctive response. I will be doing a review of Sweet As Sugar where the color is wholly visible. 

I tried different layering notes. Foil finishes looked too bright beneath Funky Chunky, drawing the eye to the imperfections brought by base. Similar to the swatch posts I linked to, medium to dark shades of any formula turned one coat of Funky Chunky black. For base colors, nude and sparkly seemed to work best.

Overall, I am happy with the experiment given the ingredients. Many thanks to Judy for lending me her bottle of Funky Chunky and listening to my reports from the field. 

Happy painting, ladies.


  1. Hmm. Ok. Sooo excited to see the final results! I applaud your efforts!

    My first impression upon seeing this was that it looks a little amphibian-like. Or like matte caviar eggs. Or prehistoric. It weirds me out to look at it, like I'm going to get bitten by an exotic pet.

    I think it's a valient effort, but ew! It is not your fault that it is scary, and again, I give you major kudos for taking those Cosi-notepad swatches, a flurry of ideas and turning around some wonderful experiments!

    But perhaps next time we get together, we can give Funky Chunky an appropriate send off. Or burial. Oh - and I will have to give you a ring back when I actually have a voice, as I've been home sick!

  2. That looks so cool; I love how this turned out!

  3. I think it looks amazing! I love how the stone you are grasping complements it. The way you applied it has a very stone like appearance that is completely unique from what I've seen. I like the idea of trying to create natural looking textures and impressions. I would actually be inspired to try to recreate this, maybe even foregoing the added sparkle so I could just glory in the rocky textures.

  4. PS! I do like how it looks with the obsidian - it is a gorgeous stone.

  5. Although I still do not like this, I'd have to say this is probably the best rendering of the strangeness that is Funky Chunky.
    And that's alright, isn't it? After all, it has two lovely sister polishes.

  6. I really want to try just one layer of Funky Chunky over nails already painted black-just enough to get a few of those sweet sequins without it getting gloopy and gross looking

  7. So interesting to see everyone's different takes on this polish, thanks for the links!

    You seemed to be able to get the polish a lot less thick, even without dulling it down. I liked the way the design you did looked next to the granite, but I'm not sure about the polish, either.

    Thanks for introducing me to this!

  8. Wow. I think I had to stare and read for about 10 minutes to work out what you'd done. Fab !

  9. I must say, that this is probably the first time I've seen Funky Chunky to be even close to the OK word. :D You did a great job!

  10. I kind of like it layered like this. =) It looks like a black veil with dots. Good job, Diana!

  11. Wow! You made this look completely different than the other swatches I've seen. I agree that it looks like dinosaur eggs- or maybe even a snow leopard's spots. Great job Diana!

  12. Diana, you are amazing! This is a beautiful mani. I like what you did with Funky Chunky and it made me waver a bit because I was firmly on the no buy for this. Until you posted your caveats. Now I'm back on the other side.
    Nonetheless, I am so glad to see this.

  13. beautyjudy: Thanks so much for your help and support with the experiment. I do think I saw some similar colorization (sans the holographic glitter stripe) at the Museum of Natural Sciences. The glitter made matte did make me think of a speckled egg. Whether it be from a bird, dinosaur or fantastical creature, who knows?

    I hope you are feeling better soon. <3

    I am glad you liked the stone as a complement. Snowflake Obsidian is a favorite of mine.

    gildedangel: Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed the results. :)

    artbysarada: It does almost seem like it would be rocky to the touch. One of the ways I judge the success of a manicure is by how much it distracts me from other intentions. I did find myself staring at my nails quite a bit! Leave it to an artist to appreciate the visual impression. I can tell you are seeing this as paint more than polish.

    Nicole: You definitely hit on my intent. I wanted to see what I could do with Funky Chunky. My goal was to create something visually interesting, but I wasn't expecting mass appeal. Come to think of it, I should wear Superstar again soon! I never took pictures of it for the blog. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. <3

    JustSomeNailsByMJ: I appreciate your studying this polish along with me. I'm honestly not sure what to think of Funky Chunky either. I did wear the polish for a day and a half, which for me is average wear time.

    Abby: Thanks! I used some different techniques to create the look. I hope it wasn't too confusing. I did a lot of staring at my nails too. ;)

    Maestra: Thank you! I wanted to do something that would make it wearable for me and maybe give others who own a bottle a different way to approach the polish. I can appreciate that Funky Chunky isn't a color for everyone.

    nirhida: Thanks! That's a very cool description! I was stuck on the idea of the color looking like ink, but it does appear silky when layered.

    Lisa: Thanks so much! I know you have been hearing me talk about Funky Chunky for awhile. I'm glad you like what I came up with. The snow leopard's spots is an interesting comparison. :)

    Mighty Lambchop: You are so sweet! Thank you! I am happy you liked my approach to Funky Chunky.

    AllYouDesire: I think you summed it up nicely. <3

  14. nihrida: Please excuse my typo of your name. Sorry about that! I am not the best typist, no matter what my nail length is!

    Stephanie and MoLo: I scrolled a bit too fast...

    Stephanie: I appreciate it. I wanted to see if I could create something a little different than what we had seen with Funky Chunky.

    MoLo: If you want a tone on tone black glitter, I would try Funky Chunky over a medium grey shimmer. It would turn the grey black in the layering but you might get slightly more presence with the hexagons.

  15. This is the first time I could actually say that Fnky Chunky looked nice. The stripe down the center is a little distracting. I would've like to have seen the manicure without the stripe. I think of a silk wrap dress by Diane Von Furstenberg. Deborah Lippman emailed me a while ago because I complained about this polish. She said her intent was just a light layer of polish so you could see the hexagons. She didn't expect to see the hexagons on each nail in the same amount. It was just to be a look mainly for the runway. Maybe one day I'll try layering this. Ms Lippmann also said not to have it opaque. I still hate the stuff. I will give your way a try in the future. Thanks for your valiant attempt. I do like it.

  16. Lucy: Thank you! I appreciate the compliments. My Aunt Lena used to wear dresses like you described. It's shame I didn't have sun to really show my intent with the stripes. I was trying to display another textural layer with the frozen glitter beneath the matte topcoat and the sparkling holographic on top. The photo gives a hint of it. I wouldn't mind trying something different without the striper.

    I haven't had success with Ms. Lippmann's method. I would be fine if the hexagons distributed differently on each nail, but they seemed to pile up like a traffic accident near the cuticles when I use traditional brush strokes. The bottle Judy and I shared may have more hexagons than what she is using. I really wish I could see her apply Funky Chunky. It was good of her to e-mail you.


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