Pick-Me-Up

Pick-Me-Up

Had I had my sick wits about me the last two weeks long enough to blog, that might have been a verb as opposed to a noun – as in, please, someone, could you come and pick me up; I’m sick and being upright has ceased to be an option. Standing? No way. Eating? Ugh, do I have to? And we shan’t talk about either blogging or nail art, the mere thought of which (regrettably) was enough to send me shuffling off to bed for another unsatisfactory, cough-intensive nap.

But after roughly two and a half weeks of listless, medicated existence, I woke up this morning with the desire to do something productive, even if that productive something was as silly as painting my nails with my fun new thermal polishes and posting them to my blog. Plus my husband made me. Something about unpolished hands are the devil’s playpen? 😉

So here’s my first, “Hey, look, my hands aren’t shaking any more!” foray back into the world of nail polish, a simple manicure featuring Polish Me Silly’s yellow-to-pink thermal polish, Sizzling Sunset. Aside from its two beautiful colours (the pale yellow of its “warm” state is particularly lovely against pale skin) this polish is just plain fun, changing to a gorgeous yogurty pink in the blink of an eye when you run your hands under cold water. And yes, I did just use “yogurt” as an adjective.

But whether your hands are hot or cold or you’re just feeling hot because you’ve got a cold, this polish makes for a beautiful, fun and much needed little pick-me-up. If you like what you see, you can find Sizzling Sunset and a wealth of other glittery goodies over at Polish Me Silly’s Etsy shop.

Stars and Stripes

Stars and Stripes

Of the pastel variety. 😉

These nails actually wound up looking quite a bit like my wedding china, a helpfully now-discontinued pattern from Lenox and a lovely gift from my grandmother. They’re beautiful – robin’s egg blue scallops edged in gold – and hugely impractical. I rarely use them because I’m terrified of dropping one or chipping one or otherwise destroying their loveliness with my klutziness (although china is one of those things you should use, as it dulls with a lack of use.) I really ought to get them out more often, but for the fact that it’s a truth universally acknowledged that my husband and I together create a swirling vortex of material destruction – valuables, look out!

Eat Your Veggies

Eat Your Veggies

For week one of January’s N.A.I.L. Challenge, in which I have just declared myself a participant (gauntlet thrown, yard stomped, envelope maxed!), the theme is health and wellness, something we could all use a little – or a lot – more of. For me, health comes more in the form of everyday wellness: Is your life generally okay? Are you more or less happy? No one you love is suffering? Then you’re well. It isn’t glamorous, but it’s something we should all strive for – your everyday, regular old contentment. It can do wonders for the spirit.

But seeing as this is a nail art challenge and my style leans quite heavily towards the cartoony, my near-existential natterings weighing the perfect ratio of happiness to wellness may not be the most appropriate sub-subject choice.

So I went with vegetables! Because my personal health could use more vegetables, and I’ve been meaning to do some veggie-themed nails for ages now – this challenge just gave me a wonderful excuse to do so!

Fanning the Flames

Fanning the Flames

Inspiration comes in all sorts of unlikely shapes and sizes, but one thing I think we can all agree on is come January, inspiring thought is in relatively short supply. Oh sure, it’s the new year and you’ve got all sorts of sparkling fresh goals. You’re an unstoppable creative thinking machine! But you’re also exhausted and broke after the holidays and, if you’re anything like me, in a state of short-term hibernation designed to wait out the worst of the bummy winter weather. Not exactly conducive to getting the creative fires burning toasty warm.

So it was with great interest that I noted Crafty Nail‘s call for participants in January’s N.A.I.L. Challenge, a four-week, no-real-rules kind of project designed to bring together nail bloggers and nail art enthusiasts alike to share tips and tricks, make some new friends and hopefully walk away inspired and rejuvenated.

So it’s quite apropos that for the first week of the challenge, challenge creators Crafty Nail, Eeeek! Nail Polish and Brijit’s Digits have chosen the wide open theme of health and wellness. I say start with creative health – there’s time enough to do lunge squats and eat kale once your nails are done!

As always, the more the merrier, so should you care to contribute your own, go for it!

Harlequin

Harlequin

Let’s see, anecdotes I can share involving the word “harlequin” (as I actually have very little to say about these nails – what you see is what you get, but that my index and ring fingers are painted in Nails Inc.’s Liquid Leather in Noho, a super cool pebbly textured polish):

1. A family member who shall remain nameless to protect the literaturely challenged once had the largest collection of Harlequin paperback bodice-rippers I have ever seen in one place, including bookstores and libraries. Combined.

2. Fresh out of university I applied for a job with Harlequin copyediting the above-mentioned bodice-rippers. I did not get the job. 😦

3. Despite considering myself a Kevin Smith fan (writer and director of such beloved/hated classics as Clerks and Dogma) I only put it together a few years ago that his daughter, a girl named Harley Quinn, was in fact named after the Batman villainess and not the motorcycle manufacturer. Really. Prior to that realization I also would have considered myself a not altogether ignorant casual Batman fan, but apparently that wasn’t in the cards (heh) either!

Ballet Slippers

Ballet Slippers

Up until about 15 years ago when my studio closed its doors, I danced (ballet, jazz, tap, musical theatre, modern, even a little Irish dance and hip hop) very nearly every day of my life. Dance was my life, and despite the fact that I was never going to make it a career, I lived for my classes and my friends and teachers and the all important year-end recital, because I got to strut my stuff and I won a lot of awards, which always made me happy because I was – and am – ultimately a massive showoff!

I tried my feet at all manner of dance, but ballet was my first and always my favourite. Ballet is the core structure around which all other types of dance are formed, and besides, it’s just pretty.

But can we talk about toe shoes, hideous satin-covered instruments of torture that they are? Oh sure, they’re beautiful – look at that colour! – and so dainty – ribbons and satin, oh my! – but truly, they are the worst. Just imagine all your body weight concentrated into two searing hot individual points that burn liquid fire into your feet and that’s what it feels like to wear toe shoes. That professional ballerinas make wearing them look effortless, like of course it’s natural to heave yourself up en pointe pretty much solely through the power of your ankle, is just one of the many, many amazing things dancers can do.

Still, I think at this point in my life, I’d far prefer to watch and marvel and commiserate than join in on the fun. Unless of course there’s an award in it for me! Then maybe we’ll talk. 🙂

Dragon Scales

Dragon Scales

This polish, a stunner I picked up during a race-to-the-checkout-type event at NailPolishCanada.com some months back, reminds me of glittering reptile skin, only less slimy, less likely to get me in trouble with PETA and a lot more…supernatural? Do you suppose supernatural can be a descriptor in such a sense?

Here I’ve shown three coats of Emily de Molly’s Black Forest, a high gloss black jelly run through with emerald green hex glitter. Nothing more, nothing less. Because when you’re this beautiful, you don’t really need a lot of extraneous adornment.

Not Your Grannie’s Floral

Not Your Grannie's Floral

Floral nail art designs, with their softer colour palettes and dainty patterns, always wind up looking a bit like that mismatched teacup and saucer set your grandmother keeps on the top shelf of her china cabinet but curiously never puts out as something you could actually drink tea out of. But not these nails! Vivid on bright on neon, these nails are most definitely not your grandmother’s cup of tea. 😉

Here I used an assortment of super bright, jewel toned polishes over top of two Nails Inc. base colours, Royal Botanical Gardens, the robin’s egg blue, and St. James Park, the neon coral on my ring finger.

Breaking Waves

Breaking Waves

Confession: These nails are about as close as I like to get to open bodies of water capable of producing such waves. It’s not the waves themselves per se, because surfing looks awesome, nor a fear of drowning, because I’ve always been quite a strong swimmer, but rather the thought of all the aquatic squishies and biteies that dwell beneath the surface, just waiting for a tender, dangling limb to drift into their zone of attack…*SHUDDER* To quote Xander Harris of much-missed Buffy fame, I’m both tender and delicious! I mean, at the very worst, something large, slimy and hungry could eat you, and at best, something smaller, slimier and just as hungry could eat you…it’ll just take longer! Wait, that doesn’t sound like the better end of the deal…best to stay on land and keep the majesty of the ocean where you can better appreciate it – far, far, FAR away and maybe only in lacquered form!

For these nails I used a clutch of Sally Hansen Gem Crush polishes, a glittery mid-year gift from my husband, including Big Money, the sandy pink on my ring finger, and Blingtastic and Showgirl Chic, the silvery blues surfing the waves.

Rainbow Bright

Rainbow Bright

Not to be confused with Rainbow Brite, although her dress and these nails do share a remarkably similar colour palette and pattern.

These nails were fussier than they look. Any time you get a lot of strong, stain-prone colours like red and dark green and royal blue competing for space in a tiny area, things can get a bit muddled. Still, this is an eye-catching design that requires little more than a fistful of rainbow polishes, a steady hand and a bit of polished patience.