This manicure, inspired by opals, my favourite gemstone, is a great example of an easily created bit of nail art where the polishes you choose do all the heavy lifting. To achieve this look, I topped two coats of a sheer, slightly shimmery pale pink polish, Revlon’s Sheer Blossom, with two different flakie polishes, Revlon’s Moon Candy in Orbit, a purple-to-green leaning flakie, and Nails Inc.’s The Wyndham, a yellow-to-green leaning holographic flakie. The overall effect is indeed quite like an opal, and would look totally different depending on how much (or how little) you vary up the base polish and the colour of the flakies. And I just realized I’ve used the word “flakie” about 167 times in this single post alone. Flakie flakie flake! And hey look, there’s a cat fur painted into my nails. Again. Must be a day ending in Y.
But one word about flakie (heh) polishes: They do not dry. Not completely, not ever, not even after you’ve sat very still with your hands on your lap doing nothing like a Victorian lady for six hours straight (true story, although I did watch six very worthwhile hours of Buffy the Vampire Slayer during that time.) I don’t know what it is about flakie polishes that causes them to never fully dry (even with a quick dry top coat like Seche Vite over top, they still remain slightly mushy) but of all the ones I’ve encountered, they’ve all shared this similar “quirk.” So use a light touch when applying, and don’t expect your manicure to survive the long haul – this one’s strictly a dazzle ‘n dash.
I wonder, if April showers bring May flowers, what’s going to happen when this snow continues on into July? You know, aside from my complete and total mental breakdown? Actually, given the circumstances of this past winter (as in its non-endingness), I think I’ve held myself together really quite well. In past years I’ve gotten a bit complainey about the inevitability of prolonged Canadian winters, but this one has just gone on so abysmally long, there really isn’t any point in griping; shit’ll end when it ends.
But there’s no harm in wishful thinking, which is where these pretty springtime nails come in. Representing my entry in the fourth and final week of the March N.A.I.L. Challenge for the theme of spring flowers, I have no idea if these polished petals are daisies or…another type of daisy, or…okay, so flowers aren’t really my thing, but they’re a cute and refreshing change all the same.
As in I swear this pinky hued polish is absolutely gorgeous. Here we have a textured polish, Nicole by OPI’s Candy is Dandy from the Gumdrops collection, that I typically stare wistfully at at the drugstore, but the other day I finally took the plunge, and now it’s mine, ALL MIIIINNNNNNEEEE! Okay, so I’m not quite that excited, but it’s a lovely polish and I’m glad it’s gotten out of my dreams and into my car, so to speak. 😉
I rarely, if ever, purchase whole whacks of nail polish in one shot, primarily because of the not insignificant cost to do so, but also because I don’t feel the need to have eight different teal chromatics as represented by eight different manufacturers. My addictive personality thankfully does not extend to hoarding nail polish…yet.
But when swatches of these polishes, Nicole by OPI’s Roughles, started popping up on other nail blogs I like to frequent, I knew I’d have to get my hands on one (or two or three) of them. They were a different and fun option in a sea of samey, and I can’t deny the vibrant-yet-paradoxically-subtle pastel hues were calling out to my winter fatigued soul. Plus there was that whole thing where I was thinking about them all the time and coming up with excuses as to why I couldn’t do certain nail art designs without them. That has to be true love, right? So when, on an innocent visit to the drugstore this morning to purchase painkillers and antacids, they simply fell into my shopping basket, who was I to object? Clearly they knew I’d give them a good home.
And indeed I have, but before I allowed them to settle in, I put them to work in a couple of swatchy-type manicures to show off their pretty pastel prettiness. And I’m pleased to report the four polishes (textured mattes studded with matte microglitter) are really beautiful, and the perfect lightly textured backdrop for a bit of long overdue springtime nail art (overdue spring, that is; the nail art I got covered.)
Here I’ve shown On What Grounds?, a warm turquoise polish flecked with blue and grey microglitter, and Rock the Look, a pink polish dusted with super fine black and orange glitter.
And here I’ve shown Sand in My Shoe, a citrusy-looking yellow polish run through with orange glitter, and I’m Stucco on You (great name), a pale grape polish dusted with red and blue glitter.
These nails, inspired by today’s ridiculously valued IPO of mega addictive puzzler, Candy Crush (or the CC overlords, King), are, I admit, straight up ugly (except for my ring finger; it’s the (sugar)bomb.) It would seem tiny jelly-embedded candies are as difficult to capture in lacquered form as level 350 (or so I’ve heard. I’m currently hovering somewhere around the 140s, as I only began playing in January and refuse to pay any more than I already have for lollipop hammers and such – a very respectable $30 over three months, I note with a great deal of pride.)
I profess to know next to nothing about stocks or public offerings or backassward financial valuations, but I dare say $7 BILLION is an outrageous sum for a transient gaming pleasure-addiction like Candy Crush. And while I understand that there are lots of players who have no problem racking up hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in jelly-busting debt, I’d wager there are far more players like myself who drift in and out of the game as the urge arises, occasionally dropping a few bucks on power-ups, but otherwise riding the freebie train as far as it’ll take them. I realize there are a lot of factors at play I haven’t considered, but it ultimately seems an unstable, intangible base on which to grow a lasting financial empire.
Okay, here endeth the lesson from a person whose knowledge of finances extends about as far as balancing her chequebook each month. Now get back to conquering level 350. 😉
I’ve always thought the base polish I used for these nails, Polish Me Silly’s Sizzling Sunset, looks a bit like strawberry-banana yogurt. In the bottle, the pale yellow-to-warm pink thermal polish really does resemble some of Yoplait’s finest, though I now feel the need to add the hopefully unnecessary warning that one should not, under any circumstances, ingest said polish. Simply admire from a safe distance, folks. 😉
With that PSA out of the way, I’ll turn to this manicure, a strawberry and banana design that obviously drew heavy inspiration from my belief in the yogurtness of this very non-yogurt polish. It’s a fun design, with the added bonus being that with thermal colour changers, you can mess around a bit with various temperatures (as I did!) to create different cool effects. Here’s Sizzling Sunset as a backdrop to my wee berries and bananas in its warm state (with apologies for the dewy paws; you have to move fast if you’d like to capture the colour changing fun.)
And here is Sizzling Sunset in its cool state. I love how the fine gold and orange glitter really pops against the pink polish.
Finally, here’s a little from column A, a little from column B. Accent nails but a few drops of ice water away.
Tonight I thought I’d go slightly off script and talk about another just-this-side-of-not-quite-being-a-hobby hobby of mine, Sim building. Make no mistake, I’m not talking about playing the Sims (the Sims 3 specifically, although I dabbled extensively to obsessively in the Sims 2.) Ordering around little simu-people tends to get old fast, and there’s only so many generations of Sims you can “breed” without things becoming a bit incestuously dicey for all parties involved.
So I concentrate my efforts on my favourite part of the game, Sim building, or the art of taxing the ever living shit out of your computer’s minimum requirements while you recreate, in painstaking detail, Disney World’s Haunted Mansion (complete with changing portraits, of course; go grandiose or go home.)
In a lot of ways, I feel like my affinity for nail art and my love of absurdly large and complicated Sim building projects spring from the same recently discovered well of creativity, to say nothing of the fact they’re visual art-based talents no one, myself included, ever thought I possessed.
Plus I really, really love designing and decorating both simulated houses and my nails in candy coated food designs, which is where this fun building project comes into play. Behold the Floating Cupcake, an outsized houseboat for the water-loving sailor Sim in your virtual life. Featuring an open concept design, rooftop pool and three floors’ worth of gracious rooms decorated in the most saccharine of furnishings and fixtures, she’s an awesome sight sailing down the simu-river, not to mention one of the greatest, and most fun, building projects I’ve ever embarked upon. And so I share with you a few photos from the life and times of the Cupcake, a game design I’m suddenly thinking might make excellent inspiration for a bit of crossover interest nail art…
Oh, Nerds, what a delightful product you are! Your baffling longevity as a major player in the candy wars is perplexing, but not entirely unwelcome, as you’re delicious. And who doesn’t love filling-busting, red dye-and-corn syrup nuggets enrobed in carnauba wax? No one who grew up in the ’80s, that’s who. And 11-year-old boys.
Despite never having much of a sweet tooth, I always savoured the Nerds my Nanny would lug home from trips she and my grandfather took down south. Grape and watermelon Nerds were all right, with strawberry-lemonade being the very best, and the possibility of finding a lone lemonade Nerd marooned over on the strawberry side always felt a bit like divine intervention from the Wonka gods instead of an issue of faulty packaging.
Here I took inspiration from a pink-to-purple thermal polish that’s always reminded me a bit of chunky Nerds encased in jelly, Polish Me Silly’s Grape Intentions, and widgeted together a couple of the candy’s lumpy little namesake mascots on my index and ring fingers.
Should you find yourself in the highly enviable position of visiting the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, tread carefully around the ride on which this design is based, the iconic Alice in Wonderland-themed Mad Tea Party. A spinning teacup ride, it’s the single most nausea-inducing attraction across four GIANT theme parks, and the destroyer of more than a couple of post-spin afternoons (no ride, with the exception of Epcot’s Mission to Mars, has ever made me want to toss my Mickey-shaped ice cream bar more.)
But over the years and visits I’ve come to work out a nearly foolproof method for riding the teacups at maximum spinning speed without tossing anything, a little wisdom I’ll drop on all you noobs who would prefer not to be seen vomiting into a teacup-adjacent trashcan while a bunch of children look on – simply lock eyes with your spinning partner, crank the cup’s wheel as hard as you can and never. look. away. It’s the looking to the side (or down or up) that’ll do you in, to say nothing of closing your eyes (don’t do that either.) Just look fixedly (and sort of cross-eyed, I won’t lie) at the person directly across from you and don’t look away until you have safely disembarked the ride, remembering to gather up your children and your belongings as you leave.
This is the advice I had for my husband when we rode the cups during his first visit to Disney World on our honeymoon. Spectators lined up along the edges of the ride no doubt saw two slightly deranged, possibly too-old-for-this weirdos cranking their teacup’s wheel faster than it could keep up and staring dementedly at each other. I’m proud to say those demented weirdos were us. 🙂
More wishful thinking expressed through my nails, as it’s presently crapping icy precipitation all over the city. Again. Usual weather-related pessimism aside, I’ve really tried to stay positive throughout this never-ending winter, but popsicle season still feels a ridiculously long way off.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t jump the gun ever so slightly, which is where this fun manicure comes in, a Cyclone pop-inspired gradient using a trio of summery textured polishes from Zoya (the sparkling champagne shade, Godiva) and OPI (I’m Brazil Nuts Over You and What’s a Little Rain Forest, the hot pink and turquoise shades from OPI’s four piece Beach Sandies collection.)
I’ll also point out that my husband had no idea what that little animal on my ring finger is. It’s supposed to be a Cyclone popsicle, although his first guess (delivered with a kind of wild eyed, “Oh my lord, I have to say something positive here, but WHAT is that thing?” sort of intensity) was “Hey! Cute…um…caterpillar?” Okay, sure, we’ll go with caterpillar; makes as much sense as a popsicle!