Holo Haul

Holo HaulThis every-nail-for-itself manicure is the result of absent-mindedly playing around with a trio of new, soon-to-be-swatched Cirque polishes atop an equally new Enchanted Polish holo. I have no idea what the design is or even what I had intended it to be, but it reflects the light so prettily, it gets to stay (even if my striping tape game could use a little work.)

DIY

Sweet Weege BottleMy philosophy when it comes to a nail polish I’d like to own but do not because it simply doesn’t exist is to break out my polish crafting supplies and make my own. Do it yourself nail polish is a real show stopper of a gift (“Wait, you made this yourself?”) and not the least bit difficult, although the initial outlay for supplies can be a tough financial and logistical nut to crack. Like most crafty-type pursuits, you’ll need project-specific items such as polish bottles, solvent-resistant glitter, suspension base and the like, and none of that stuff comes easily or inexpensively (although once you’re all set up, the only consumables you’ll have to regularly replace are the bottles and base, and even then only if you’re cranking out multiple bottles a day.) I purchased my solvent-resistant glitter from a variety of Etsy retailers (solvent-resistant is key; regular old crafting glitter will bleed and melt when mixed with suspension base), while the cosmetic dyes I use come from a company by the name of Vanti805. The suspension base, bottles, ball bearings, etc. all come from a Canadian company I’ve had nothing but great experiences with by the name of Voyageur Soap & Candle Company, although you can also find a wealth of indie polish makers on Etsy that offer those items alongside their own creations.

And that’s the short, not-too-detailed story of how I came to consider myself a bit of a nail polish crafter, and more specifically the story of how this glitter topper, Sweet Weege, came into existence. I had actually been admiring some indie wares on a now-defunct company’s website when I noticed that they did not ship to Canada. That was a bit of a bummer until I realized that I was more than capable of making my own version of the polish I had my eye on, and so I did! Then it was just a hop, skip and five or so hours of picking errant glitter off my clothes, arms and hands before I had this Not-a-Designer Imposter-type creation I named after one of my cats, because why not? They’re great company when I’m deep in the throes of detail-oriented crafting, and they look so freaking adorable in those little masks (I kid – suspension base smells like hot death, and when I’m crafting, they’re usually a respectful, but still watchful, distance away. Besides, do you know how difficult it is to get glitter out of a long-haired’s coat? DIFFICULT.)

Here I’ve shown one brushed/dabbed on coat of Sweet Weege over top of Essie’s warm grey Chinchilly.Sweet Weege Full

Enchanté

Time to Pretend Bottle SunSo it would appear that after a year of being kind of wilfully blasé and absolutely in-denial about my burgeoning nail polish procurement issue (as in I *might* have a wee problem), I have become one of those nail polish people. Because when I got this bit of nail mail, Enchanted Polish’s Time to Pretend, a thank you to myself for a recent spate of extra hard work, I spent about five minutes inspecting and admiring everything from the cute little box it came in (I love their logo; that castle looks straight-up evil) to its mesmerizing rainbow holo and oil slick-type multichrome. Seriously, count out five minutes – that’s a long time to be contemplating the finer points of shimmer ratio to glitter penetration. Long time to be contemplating anything, actually!Time to Pretend Bottle Shade

But as always, I come down on the side of enjoying life’s little luxuries, no matter how inane or silly they may seem. This will come as a surprise to no one, but life is hard, and often feels like an endless round of stock car racing where half the participants are unlicensed goats. Any reprieve from the crazy, any little thing that makes you smile, even for just a handful of rainbow-contemplating moments, can’t be an irredeemable waste of time and happiness.Time to Pretend Full SunTime to Pretend Fingers Sun

Doodle Bug

Doodle BugWe’re nearing that time of year once again when the matriculating members of our society don their thinking caps (or beer helmets in the case of university students) and return to the hallowed halls of their alma wherevers to commence another year of earnest learning (or lessons in how to *just* avoid alcohol poisoning, once again in the case of university students.) So in honour of all the students heading back to school this week and next, I did this doodle-filled mani that looks a bit like the scratchings you’d find in your average school-issued textbook. Just with fewer penises.

Jumpin’ Jelly

Jumpin' Jelly 1

It was only after I had removed this cute pond manicure that I realized that with its lush magenta hue and floral sun design, it would have made the perfect background for a bit of Tangled-inspired nail art. I seem to recall Rapunzel maneuvering her impossibly gigantic ‘do around a kingdom celebration festooned with flags bearing purple and yellow sun designs.

Pond manicures look impressive, but really only hinge on two simple factors: A not-too-opaque jelly polish and a steady hand for detail work. For this manicure, I painted my nails with two coats of China Glaze’s Are You Jelly? Then, using a detail brush and an assortment of dotting tools, I painted on the floral design, filling in all the gaps to create a sort of mosaic tile design. Then I painted on one thin, even coat of Are You Jelly?, taking my time to ensure I wasn’t covering up too much of the floral sun design, before topping off the whole works with one mega light-reflecting coat of Seche Vite to make everything smooth as the surface of a (jelly-filled) pond.Jumpin' Jelly 2

Kaleidoscope Seuss

Kaleidoscope SeussI often refer to this polish, Cirque’s multi-coloured Kaleidoscope glitter topper, as Dr. Seuss in a bottle. With its mixture of fun, geometric shapes in a rainbow’s worth of primary colours, it speaks to the part of me that loves the vibrant Seussian aesthetic, if not the books themselves (I know, I know, what’s wrong with me? Candy corn, large bodies of water, bubble tea and now Dr. Seuss – is there anything I *do* like? Cats. I like cats very much. Pasta, too.)Kaleidoscope Seuss

Sweet Buns!

Sweet BunsI started playing this match-the-colours game on my Android-enabled computing device recently by the name of Cupcake Mania, and the level markers are these adorable little blank-eyed cinnamon buns. You know you’ve done well and pleased your pastry overlords when the wee bun goes from a cinna-frown to a cinna-smile. Anthropomorphic breakfast sweets are the best! And so I painted them on my nails. 🙂