Summer Sun

Summer Sun

I can usually be counted on to come up with some horrible pun or long-winded anecdote that’s only just barely about nails or nail art, but I seem to have nothing interesting to say about this manicure. It’s a sun design, or maybe the ass end of a turkey, with a touch of the stained glass technique in a trio of lush, summery colours.

These nails also represent my entry in Nail Polish Canada’s summertime nail art contest. And apparently that’s all I have to say about that subject as well. Jeez, what the heck is wrong with me? Normally I can deliver a treatise on just about any subject, including treatises themselves, but I’ve got nothing to contribute on the topic of summer. Except that being a fall person, I’m really not all that fond of it. Riveting, I know! Try not to be too bowled over by my narrative fireworks. 😉

Rainbow Roses (OMD2)

Rainbow Roses

Everything I know about rainbow roses can be encompassed by one hopelessly optimistic Pin that assures me that multi-coloured roses are but a snip, dye and a half-day wait away. But like most things that are born of a delusional evening spent perusing the DIY and craft boards on Pinterest, I have taken this one with a grain of salt and have yet to actually try the technique myself.

And let’s not even get started on purchasing rainbow roses. A trusted local florist should be able to do them, but it’ll be treated as a custom order and they will be pricey. And I know that major online florists like FTD and Teleflora also offer arrangements of rainbow roses, but from everything I’ve ever read about them, their products and services are worryingly hit or miss, and you’ll still be paying major dollars. All for a bunch of white roses tweaked with food dye! So the lesson to be learned here is maybe I should try that Pin after all? Please somebody remind me to wear gloves, though, or I’ll be sporting rainbow-hued palms until September.

These are nails I did for day 25’s theme of roses in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge. I’ve gone back to this rose well a few times now (all of my rose designs come out looking like blobby little rose-oids), this time painting a garden’s worth of rainbow beauties along the edge of my nails against a stark white background perfect for highlighting multi-coloured detail work.

You Can’t Close the Beaches! (OMD2)

You Can't Close the Beaches!

You don’t have the authority to close the beaches! Tourism dollars, island communities, blah diddy blah blah bla — oh cripes, did we mention the shark? Really, it’s no biggie – he only eats every second or third fisherman, and failing that, your kids and pets and Sunday roasts. Pretty much business as usual around Amity Island.

For today’s theme of nautical in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge – the first time I have actually been able to say that as opposed to the day number, because I have been annoyingly off the pace from the very beginning – I have clearly taken great inspiration from a favourite movie and nail art subject, Jaws. More specifically, I attempted to recreate the mayor’s outstanding grey seersucker blazer dotted with tiny embroidered anchors, with my own bloody and naughty-cal touch.

Judging from the look of things, dude, I think you should have closed the beaches.

I Hate Nature! (OMD2)

I Hate Nature!

Day 26’s theme in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge was the outdoors, and because I’m really not all that fond of the great outdoors (I’m pretty much an indoor kitty), I went in a slightly different direction and took inspiration from a favourite movie character whose philosophy about the out of doors is very much in alignment with mine, Chunk from the Goonies.

Don’t laugh; the Goonies is good moviein’. You whippersnappers today would be so lucky to find a beloved childhood movie 1/10th as wonderful as the Goonies (and while I’m in old person lecturing mode, pull up your damn pants and get off my lawn!) I can’t begin to tell you how many hours I spent perched in front of the television as a kid, while Chunk and Mouth and Mikey and Data rode their bikes through Astoria and discovered the legend of One Eyed Willy (don’t you dare laugh!) and battled an octopus, but only in some edited for TV versions (it’s seriously so weird – the first time I saw the octopus battle scene I wondered if I was either hallucinating it right then or had somehow blocked it out the other 8,654 times I had seen the movie.)

But getting back to the challenge at hand, these nails are inspired by Chunk, who escapes the clutches of the Fratellis and is tasked with running through the woods to the road to get help. Chunk’s probably the last person who should be trusted with this very important task, and he proves his worthlessness (for the moment; Chunk’s the big hero in the end) by running directly to a car driven by one of the Fratelli brothers, but not before he cuts through the woods, bitching up a storm about how much he hates nature. I feel ya, kid – nature isn’t my thing either.

I like to think these nails convey Chunk’s general feelings towards the outdoors (although according to my interpretation, he dislikes pigs, trees and butterflies), while highlighting Chunk’s best feature, his all polyester uniform of a Hawaiian shirt and plaid pants (actually, the guy who played Chunk, a guy by the name of Jeff Cohen, told a cute little anecdote on one of the DVD commentaries about how, as a self-described fat kid actor, some directors had put him in eye assaultingly bad Hawaiian print shirts while others had put him in too-tight plaid pants, but never had a director had the creative chutzpah to combine the two before Richard Donner. It was cute.)

Parrot Talk (OMD2)

Parrot TalkParrot fish, that is, and my pick for day 21’s theme of animal print in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge. And yes, I realize that fish are not animals in the strictest, most sciencey meaning of the term, but here’s my basic criteria for determining whether something is an animal: Is it a small relation of a larger critter that we adopt into our families and house in our homes? Then it’s an animal. So fish totally count, according to my highly technical definition. The parrot print stays!

Grape Scott! (OMD2)

Grape Scott!In my head I’m picturing Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown storming around his lab, yanking out clumps of his hair and gobbling nonsense about how the DeLorean’s in the shop, so how’s he supposed to get back to 1955 to save Marty from making out with his mom? (Mega bonus points if you just read that in Lloyd-as-Doc’s clipped, rapid fire cadence.)

That, of course, makes me think about the old Back to the Future Ride at Universal Studios Florida, a ride simulator favourite of mine that opened in 1991 and only closed in 2007 to make way for the park’s Simpsons and Harry Potter expansions. It was the coolest ride, but my favourite part (besides making it to the shaded, indoor portion of the line) was this little instructional video that played prior to boarding advising you of all the things thou shalt not do or be while travelling via DeLorean to the past to save humanity from the idiot clutches of Biff Tanner, such as pregnant, of poor spinal health, in the midst of a heart attack or consuming a chili cheese dog. All of these scenarios were played for laughs by a family of featureless crash test dummies, and I could ALWAYS be counted on to bray like a jackass when the safety advisor prepping us to cross the space-time continuum commented that while in transit, there was to be no smoking, drinking or eating, while a dummy in the background sat on the ride clutching a giant sandwich in one hand and a smouldering butt in the other. Bless your snark, Universal. It’s truly what differentiates you from Disney.

Wait, how did I get here? What did I come here to talk about again? Oh, right, my nails! I KNEW this blog was more than just a roundabout way for me to talk about my favourite stuff – occasionally there’s nail art, too! It’s just far too easy for me to get distracted by the stupid puns I make. Like this one time…

Okay, I’ll stop! I’m reining it in! These great grape nails, which just touched off a fire storm of nostalgic reminiscing, are my entry in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge for day 24’s theme of fruit. I have done so many fruit-themed manis (the two first manicures I ever did were watermelons and then strawberries), but I’ve never gone grape, until now. And while I’m not sure how much those purple blobs on my index finger actually resemble grapes, I love these rich colours together, particularly the way the purple jelly (OH MY GOD, GRAPE JELLY, I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M ONLY GETTING THAT NOW, I’M LOSING MY TOUCH) highlights the magenta flecks in the green glitter polish. Just grape stuff. 😉

Blackbird (OMD2)

BlackbirdDay 22’s theme of feathers in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge felt like a welcome palette cleanser after last week’s barrage of difficult (Ikat? Glitter placement? Negative space? What madness is this?) Feather designs are relatively easy ones, and best of all, even if your brush work is less than exemplary, it really works with the mani, because a little roughness keeps them looking real. Seriously, don’t let it ruffle your feathers. (*groan*)

Negative Nelly (OMD2)

Negative NellyNegative space nails – a manicure in which areas of your nail are left bare or a design is cut into the polish itself – represent *the* trendy nail art technique of the moment. This is probably because it creates a super cool effect (so long as you don’t mind bits of your bare, stained, chipped and gouged nails being exposed to the judgemental eyes of the world), but also because it’s indisputably HARD, and nail art enthusiasts are nothing but a group up to an annoyingly difficult challenge.

Speaking of challenges, these nails, my second attempt at a negative space mani, represent my entry in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge for day 23’s theme of negative space. Yet for all my tough talk about how difficult and time consuming they can be, it was probably the easiest-going manicure I’ve done in months. Isn’t that always the way? You fret about the hard ones and slack on the easy stuff, only to discover that you rock at the advanced difficulty, but have somehow forgotten how to use a dotting tool.

For these negative heart nails, I used a favourite glitter polish, KB Shimmer’s Make My Gray, for a pop of colour, adding Bourjois’s watermelon-hued Rose Imaginaire to my index and ring fingers. Once dry, I softened up the polish I wanted to erase by dipping a detail brush in acetone and marking out the little hearts. Then, using the pointed edge of an orangewood stick, I carved out the hearts, scraping up any excess polish as I went. Finally, I cleaned up the smudges left behind in the bare areas with a detail brush dipped in acetone, sealing the whole thing in with a coat of Seche Vite to smooth down any lumps and bumps.

It goes without saying that the next time I try a negative space mani, it will be a crapfest of epic proportions, but for now I’ll revel in the unexpected easiness of these nails – negative space nails with virtually no negatives!Negative Nelly Sun

Newt! (OMD2)


Day 18’s theme in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge (almost wrote that as “Oh Mon Die”) was the almighty dotticure, a ridiculous made-up word to describe a manicure in which dots are the prevailing nail art technique. Thanks to a plethora of fun dotting tools on the market, dot-based designs prevail, to say nothing of their user-friendliness for nail art pros and noobs alike.

For this challenge prompt, I decided to try my hand at a pixelated, comic strip-type design, complete with speech bubble superhero grunts that I freely admit to cribbing from a favourite episode of The Simpsons. In “Radioactive Man” (season 7, episode 2) Springfield is chosen to host the filming of the new big budget Radioactive Man movie. Wackiness naturally ensues (“My eyes! Ze goggles do nothing!”), with the production seemingly only caring that the movie be nothing like the goofy Radioactive Man movies of the ’60s. Two seconds later there’s a flashback to one of those goofy movies, with our hero bravely beating in faces (Boy Scouts, actually; how’s that for our radioactive good guy?!) while Batman-esque fight dialogue (“Bam!”, “Pow!” and the like) flashes across the screen. Except instead of the usual assortment of “Blam!”s and “Kapow!”s you typically see when the hero is kicking ass and taking names – and I’m starting to snicker as I type this – it’s all “Bif!” and “Newt!” and one particularly awesome and elongated “POOOOOOOOO!” *wipes eyes* Damn, that’s funny. And so I painted it on my nails. Newt!

Chevron Waves (OMD2)

Chevron WavesLet’s see, sandy beach, gently lapping waves…if this post was being written by anybody other than me, they might actually be into that! It’s not that I’ve got anything against beaches, it’s just that the beaches really seem to have something against me. I’m just not a beach person. Sitting under an umbrella with a good book and a drink sounds like it would be fun for about two hours, and then I guarantee you I’m looking for more air conditioned locales. Also, as we’ve covered about 100 times on this very blog, beaches are typically adjacent to slimy critter-concealing bodies of water that I refuse to even wade in. Plus I have never not burned (the summer my Egyptian friend and I had a tan-off was a very bad one indeed) and I tend to wilt in the humidity. I’m simply not a nature person under the very best of circumstances, both in temperament and pasty white skin tone, so I’d do well to stay off the beaches.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t find a way to enjoy beaches on my own terms, say safely confined to my nails where I can’t be eaten, sustain a burn or get sand up my swimsuit? Sounds like a plan! And that’s how these beachy nails came about, an idea I just sort of fell into while messing around with some new polishes and day 20’s theme of chevron in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge. Chevrons lend themselves quite nicely to wave-type designs, and they look particularly lovely when crowded up against one another in a wealth of sea green polishes (one might even say they look beachy keen? Huh, huh? Nothing? Man, I’m losing my touch with corny jokes…)