300th Post Celebration Nails

300th Post Celebration Nails

In a few minutes, after I’ve run one final spellcheck and hit the publish button (whoops, my pinkie finger slipped and I almost typed that as “publixxx” – looks like that check may have been necessary after all!) I will have wrapped production on my 300th blog post. I haven’t been blogging for very long (eight months), and I’ve been working on my nail art skills for only a couple of months longer than that, but for some reason, when the two areas come together, I become quite prolific. Like, 300 posts in eight months prolific. And with the exception of two or three throwback galleries, every post has represented its own manicure; no do-overs, no duplications.

But apart from the pride that comes with knowing that I have produced 300 posts’ worth of not altogether unfortunate nail art is the simple joy I take from daily writing. I’ve been a writer my entire life, starting with my childhood Bill the Turtle short story series, then moving into a university degree in journalism, and finally winding up here with this blog. In between all that, I’ve been a near-lifelong, avid journaller (there is one entire Rubbermaid container in storage at my parents’ that contains nothing but the journals I kept through elementary school, high school and university.)

So it doesn’t exactly surprise me that I’ve been able to produce so many posts on the subject of nail art. Although, having said that, as I was discussing with my husband the other evening, my little nail blog is not exactly like all the other little nail blogs in that the nail art is actually sort of tangential to whatever discussion I’m having with myself about some event that inspired the nail art. It’s all very meta. Long story short, I am not the blog you seek out if you’re looking for swatches or gorgeous, macro shots of holographic glitter or thoughtful reviews. I mean, I dabble in all that stuff, and I always strive to make sure my content is indeed thoughtful, but I’m more about recalling how my new polish loaded with music note glitter reminds me of the time I fell off the top riser in band practice in grade 9 (true story.) Or Disney nails.

In the end, though, I suppose all that matters as a blogger is that you’re happy with your output and pleased to share your content, and 300 posts’ worth of that? Is certainly nothing to sneeze at. So I’m going to take a moment to cel-e-brate good times (come on!) with these fun, confetti cannon-type nails. Which hey, reminds me of a story…just kidding. 😉

Pale Perfection

In Bare Form Bottle Sun

Continuing my streak of KB Shimmer polishes, here’s a pretty little holographic gem, In Bare Form.  KB put out a load of holographic neutrals in the first half of their summer release, and In Bare Form, the palest of the pale, is the pick of the litter for melanomanally challenged ladies such as myself.In Bare Form Sun

Nudes can often lean towards the yellow-orange side of the colour wheel, and holographic polishes in particular are usually of the of the jewel-toned variety, so it’s nice to see a flattering nude polish for us ultra pale lasses with a bit of shimmery personality.  On a favourite blog I like to frequent, The PolishAholic, it’s been noted that In Bare Form is a particularly great choice for women whose jobs dictate a less-is-more approach to nail adornment, and I couldn’t agree more.  Sure, out in the sun it’s a rainbow-throwing stunner, but in the shade or indoors, it’s “just” a lovely nude with a subtle, delicate shimmer – conservative, with a bit of a twist.In Bare Form Bottle Shade

Disney Dolls

Late last year, feeling bereft of nail art inspiration, I embarked on a casual, self-imposed challenge to capture the girls and women of the Disneyverse, be they princess, villainess or something in between. Titled the Disney Girl Challenge and now spanning seven months, 40 some-odd posts and over 35 Disney properties, I thought I was reaching the end of my list of Disney ladies (I have an actual list), when I realized that between the more traditional Disney picks and Pixar’s offerings (they get their own separate post), I’ve probably only reached the halfway mark.

But I try to be a “the nail polish bottle is half full” type of person, and so I won’t look at this as an uphill battle (literally uphill, in the snow, in flats at least as I further tackle Elsa and Anna from Frozen) and instead look back in fondness and for future inspiration at the nails that have come before, from Disney’s first animated princess, Snow White, to more random picks like The Nightmare Before Christmas’s Sally and Cinderella’s Ugly Stepsisters. I’ve had a blast so far putting my own lacquered spin on the fair maidens of the Disneyverse, and I love finding unexpected ways of expressing each lady’s uniquely individual style (except for the bow thing; all Disney girls, especially the young ones in their jammies at a window and/or being watched over by seven little people, LOVE big, flouncy bows.) I hope you enjoy this gallery as much as I enjoyed doing the manicures these pictures represent. 🙂

Snow Freaking Way

Snow Much Fun Bottle

As in no freaking way, I thought we were done with this snow business for the year.  Actually, given the never-endingness of last winter, perhaps two years, or maybe even three.  And then I show up not only with a polish from last winter’s collection, KB Shimmer’s Snow Much Fun (which is, like, 67 years in nail polish time), but one that evokes all the bad feelings of the Winter That Wouldn’t End?  Timely!  Very timely.

Lots of bloggers have swatched this polish already, last year when there was still snow on the ground, but I thought I’d buck that trend and paint on a few coats in the first few weeks of summer.  And besides, I only bought it last week.  Like KB’s other glitter-in-jelly polishes, Snow Much Fun applies beautifully, and three coats, loaded with holographic microshimmer and glitter, gives your nails a lush, deep look, like the snowflakes (lots of them, too) were flash frozen in a pool of shimmering water.  But a note about those adorable snowflakes that give this polish such a gorgeous, unique look: They are glitter of the larger sized variety, both in terms of measurement and thickness.  I had no problem getting the flakes out of the bottle and onto my brush, but getting them onto my nail without dragging off the rest of the polish with them was a bit of a challenge.  I found if I went slow and steady, laid down my flakes in the first couple of coats and then topped them off with a layer that was predominantly polish, I had no problems.  And when a nail polish is this beautiful, sometimes you don’t mind going the extra distance. 😉 Snow Much Fun Outside

Tickled Pink

Tickled Pink

Here’s a manicure featuring a bottle of homebrew from “promising” “new” “indie polish maker”, Finger Candy Diningroom Table Industries. Free cat fur or furs with every polish nearly guaranteed.

But all joking aside, I made this polish, Sweet Weege, some months back, and after having let it sit around and do its thing during that time, I’m pleased to report that it has held up fantastically well – no glitter curling, no colour bleeding – and still looks pretty great over top of a fun, bubblegum pink polish, Sally Hansen’s appropriately named Bubblegum Pink, even if the little hearts do get a bit lost in the mix.

Disney Girl Challenge: Jessie

Disney Girl Challenge: Jessie

Oh, I have such issues – crying, sobbing issues – with the Toy Story movies. Nearly all Pixar movies, actually, and the vast majority of Disney’s animated offerings, too (please, for the love of all that’s holy, STOP KILLING OFF THE PARENTS!) But there’s just something about the Toy Story series that utterly destroys me, whether it’s Woody worrying that Andy’s outgrown him or Jessie winding up at a junk sale (her song reduces me to a puddle of soggy tears, every. single. time) or the toys holding hands in a furnace. I haven’t even seen the third movie and the thought alone is enough to set me sobbing. So I won’t see it, and you can’t make me! I have it on very good, trusted authority – comments Kevin Smith has made, a joke from The Big Bang Theory, an article my mom read about movies that make men weep – that I will be a useless, waterlogged pile of depression after watching the third Toy Story movie, and so I shall abstain. I’ve got no problem with that whatsoever.

But I still do love the Toy Story movies, and Jessie in particular (although Hamm is the best, then, now, always.) She’s smart and sassy, brave and self-reliant, AND she possesses one of the most unique wardrobes of any Disney girl (you think you’d ever see Cinderella in a pair of cowhide chaps? I think not.) Her personal style calls out for a bit of inspired-by nail art, and THAT I can certainly oblige with these Jessiefied nails. So yee haw, and giddy-up!

Strawberry Season

Strawberry Season

Or almost strawberry season, I should say. Here in my neck of the Canadian woods we’re still a few weeks away from the big berry blitz, so until then I’ll have to content myself with this juicy-looking, strawberry-inspired manicure. Strawberry nail art is always popular, no matter the season (a berry design was the second bit of nail art I ever attempted), but I like to think my blingy berries are a step apart thanks to the gorgeous, sparkling polish I used here, KB Shimmer’s Belle of the Mall. In fact, the idea for this simple berry design came from Belle of the Mall itself, which I once compared to the colour of sparkling strawberries. All it needs is a bit of topping off with a tiny green topper, and voila, strawberry season, at least on your nails. 😉

Disney Girl Challenge: Colette

Disney Girl Challenge: Colette

Colette Tatou, plum-haired heroine of Disney-Pixar’s Ratatouille, is not a woman to be trifled with. As the only female in Gusteau’s kitchen – and very nearly the entire film, but for the gun-happy old lady at the beginning – Colette stands against the inequalities of the industry, whether it’s objecting to Chef Skinner’s ego-driven power trips or vouching for “talented”-yet-hapless Linguini. Plus she’s super handy with a blade, and you just don’t want to mess with a woman who can debone a chicken in 32.6 seconds flat.

Here I tried to capture Colette’s black and white checked chef togs, as well as her unnaturally hued hair (FINALLY a great, super appropriate use for a magnetic polish, which I used to create those little light-reflecting waves.) And over on my thumb is, as the French themselves would say, the piece de resistance, a lacquered loaf of bread fit for crackling. Mmmm, animated bread (actually, all of the food in Ratatouille looks amazing, particularly the scallops seared in some sort of cream sauce…whenever I watch Ratatouille, I always make sure I’m either eating something yummy or have access to something yummy, because it’s only a matter of time before I’m sprinting out to the kitchen to make, oh, I don’t know, pommes anna or a “simple” boeuf bourguignon.)

The Redemption of Pea Green

Over the Rainbow Bottle

It’s really easy: Just take the ugliest colour in your bag of polished beauty tricks – I can practically guarantee it’s the aforementioned pea green, or maybe even an orangey rust or dog poo brown – and cover it with one and a half coats of a fun neon glitter topper seemingly designed expressly to beautify such objectionable nail polish colours.  I mean, I don’t wish to pick on this guy, Essence’s L.O.L. (oh, I’m LOL-ing, all right) but he’s ever so ugly.  It’s a particularly unflattering shade against my pale, WASPy hide, although I can’t imagine a skin tone in this world it *would* flatter.  And yet, when it’s paired with a funfetti-ish glitter like this one, Polish Me Silly’s Over the Rainbow, it takes on a grassy, springy look, like Easter goodies nestled in a basket of fake plastic grass, as opposed to the paint on the outside of the Griswold family station wagon in the first Vacation movie, a unique shade that went by the name “Electric Pea” (or is it “Electric Pee”?  No matter, both apply.)  It also helps if you throw in an accent nail in a colour that doesn’t remind you of medical waste, here Nails Inc.’s perfect robin’s egg blue, Royal Botanical Gardens. See, not all is lost for the noble pea. 😉Over the Rainbow Outside

Emerald Pretty

Emerald Pretty

Oh, we’re off to see the wizard! Here I attempted to capture the Emerald City of The Wizard of Oz in tiny, glittery form for week 3 of the May N.A.I.L. Challenge for the theme of emerald, which I clearly took quite literally. I love that I was able to make great use of a favourite glittery green polish, KB Shimmer’s Get Clover It, to add a touch of sparkle to the buildings. I think the little gold and turquoise glitters sort of look like lights burning in the windows of Emerald Towers.