So while I’m off being all nostalgic and lovey dovey with Mr. Finger Candy (around here that means I swear furious blood vengeance on the player that scooped his special holiday box in GTA V this afternoon – screw with my man’s avatar, will you?!), I thought I’d acknowledge the other importance this day has, namely ghosts and goblins, oogies and boogies and, of course, sweet candy greed with a gallery of some of my favourite Halloween manicures from the past two years. Perhaps you’ll find the perfect one to adorn your nails this evening, whatever spooky fun you get up to. As always, stay safe tonight, gang, and Happy Halloween!
You can’t keep a good pig down for long, which is precisely what happens when you’re as fond of painting them on your nails as I am. Here, amidst all the gradient and glitter, this piggy is all dressed up and ready for trick or treating, as anatomically incorrect as his skeleton costume might be (pretty sure the hip bone’s not connected to the rib bone, and I have this weird hunch that life is easier when your spine is actually attached to the rest of you!)
Nothing but straight up Halloween candy goodness here, folks. Except for that wee small part where in the past I have declared candy corn to be the Devil’s foodstuff. The real trick would be getting me to eat one. Design-wise, however, the candy corn is iconic, and so the partially gelatinous, partially sandy (?) little buggers still receive top billing in this fun, candy-coated mani featuring a festively sweet gradient and some tiny Halloween sweets.
Every year starting in late September and running through to the 1st of November Universal Studios puts on their hugely popular Halloween Horror Nights attraction, a massive, fully immersive, adults only, park-wide, after hours scare-a-thon. Halloween Horror Nights has been running in Florida (you know my Florida bias) since 1991, although I have never been. Trust me, this is a fact most vexing, because oh, do I want to go! There’s all sorts of haunted houses branded to various Universal properties (The Walking Dead and The Purge movies being recent big draws) and Scare Zones where you can traverse open areas of the park where “scareactors” lunge out at you from dimly lit darkness. And if you’re not feeling the immersive experience, you can always circumvent the Scare Zones and stick to the regular rides, many of which remain open, with what seem like fairly decreased wait times (although why you’d pay for the Halloween Horror Nights ticket and then treat the park like it’s any old day doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. It isn’t any old day! You’re being purged and purging alike, and zombies are all up in your grill! Take advantage of that fact and have a bit of scary fun.)
Although is “fun” really the right word? Because I’m actually still kind of unsold on the idea of wetting my pants in fear as I attempt to navigate the twisted, jump scare-fueled nightmare that is one of HHN’s haunted houses, like the house that was the inspiration for these nails, this year’s Dollhouse of the Damned. Inside the Magic has some phenomenal lights-on photos of the Dollhouse that are just unsettling in the extreme, and that’s without the motley crew of oogie boogies that are sure to jump out at you from – AGAIN – every dimly lit corner. But I love the exquisitely detailed theming of this house with its creepy-cheerful facade, mounted stuffed animal heads and grimy, dangling baby dolls. Too bad I’d never actually get to appreciate that theming in real life, because I have a feeling the only way I’d be able to get through a place like the Dollhouse of the Damned is by squeezing my eyes shut, burying my face in my husband’s back and shrieking in fear while he gripes about me walking all over the back of his heels.
But I can admire pictures of it and videos on YouTube! I like to keep informed, even if I’m not there myself. Which is how I came to create this manicure, a design inspired by the Monster House-ish exterior of the attraction, a weather-worn and beat down structure with menacing, eye-like windows and creepy naked baby dolls hanging off its porch. I had been checking out some videos of Halloween Horror Nights, and the Dollhouse was just calling out for someone to turn it into some nail art…and so I did!
I recently wore these Incoco nail strips to lunch (at Swiss Chalet!) with my grandmother, a woman whose lifelong love of nail polish (but only those shades from the brown-pink-mauve side of the colour wheel, thankyouverymuch) I’ve documented previously on this blog. She finds my not brown-pink-mauve manicures endlessly amusing, but when I told her that this particular manicure was accomplished by putting stickers! Made of nail polish! On my fingers!? Mind. BLOWN.
It’s so patronizing to say, “Oh, silly grandmother, what a golden age we live in, in-deed!” but her reaction’s actually the right one – we do live in a golden age of nail art, and there are some mighty cool and inventive products out there that we tend to take for granted, like these amazing nail appliques. Seriously, I’d like to know what dark sorcery brought these delightful things into the world. Because y’know what? They just plain work. Incoco has both lovely, on-trend designs for nail art lovers and beautiful colours for those who want to keep it a touch simpler, and as the lovely, fluffy icing on the cake, they also apply lightning fast (my lunchtime manicure took me 20 minutes, including my oft-neglected right hand) and wear like iron.
And pretty? SO pretty! Here I’ve shown After Dark, a festive glittery gradient from last year’s Halloween collection and a real showstopper, if my grandmother’s reaction was any indication (she stopped thinking about rotisserie chicken for half a minute IN the rotisserie chicken restaurant – that’s how you know they impressed the heck out of her.) As with all of the Incoco products I’ve tried to date, these nail strips are simply good stuff – beautiful designs and colours, decent prices (and if your nails are small like mine and you wrap the extra appliques up well so they don’t dry out, you can get two manicures out of a pack of 16 strips) and best of all, you don’t have to possess a technician’s skill level to create an amazing looking manicure – just peel and stick!
When the cats take over – and I say this as a cat person with two fat, furry beasts sitting not two feet away from me – we are all SCREWED. I can say this with some certainty, because I have witnessed the dedicated furry fury of one eight pound, 22-year-old domestic long haired with a grudge; can you imagine what they could do if they were organized? Or had thumbs? Or the desire to do anything other than eat, groom and nap for 17 hours a day? So sure, it’s in our best interests as their “masters” – bahahahahahahahahahaha! – to cater to our cats’ every whim, if only to placate them and temporarily delay the upcoming catpocalypse, but when your cat’s whim is to blast sound barrier-shattering merows directly into your eardrum at 4:00 in the morning because there’s breakfast to be had and lazy bones fur parents to be roused from sleep, it gets to be a bit much. Particularly when that cat is old and persistent and not above bellowing hundreds of times in her very loudest outdoor voice for snacks or pets or whatever has her furry bits in a twist this time. I love her, but it’s exhausting. And I mean actually exhausting – she’s awake more than a one-year-old, and her nocturnal misery loves our company, so everybody’s awake.
This manicure depicts the mental turmoil that goes along with being blasted into consciousness by a very loud, very persistent cat – kind of like that loud, persistent cat on my thumb! – in the form of yet another every-nail-for-themselves water marble (seriously, the day I can get all five nails to even remotely look alike, I will declare myself the Goddess of Water Marbling and that will be the end of that.) The ultra vivid neon polishes and loopy, bendy swoops of the water marble are a visual representation of the mental state one finds themselves in in the wee hours of the morning when their beloved, but exceptionally aggravating, cat wants pets and snacks and fresh water, not necessarily in that order, and they want it NOW. In those hours before dawn when you’re awake and moving, but not really, it sometimes feels a bit like everything’s gone flashing neon and bendy around the edges. The singing kitty, of course, represents my cat, Porky, who has been my housemate now for nearly 14 of her 22 years, although thankfully the shrieking at the top of her lungs thing is only something she’s started doing in the last couple of years now that she’s old, old, old and has zero shits left to give. Lucky girl, now she can not give a crap that I’ve immortalized her bad behaviour on my nails!
Oh, it’s the MOST won-der-ful time of the year! Lots of fun stuff going on in the world of nail polish this month as the indies and commercials alike get their spook on and flood the market with their Halloween-themed collections. I have somehow remained immune (some of the indie collections I like are only available from overseas stocklists with exorbitant shipping rates, and there’s only so many years you can buy the same glow-in-the-dark topper, so the decision was not a difficult one) but these two polishes from China Glaze’s Apocalypse of Color collection spoke to me, because they’re ever so purty and just a tiny bit different from the usual Halloween offerings, with lots of usefulness beyond the upcoming ghosting season.
First we have the glitter topper of the collection, Rest in Pieces. It’s a fun, festive assortment of copper, black and holographic hex and bar glitter. You will not like this polish one bit if you’re not a fan of bar glitter (like visible nail lines, bar glitter is a divisive topic in certain well manicured circles), although I really love the visual interest it adds to this mix-and-match mani. Here I layered two light coats of Rest in Pieces over Cirque’s grass green Panacea and OPI’s frosted brown Warm Me Up for a pretty and glittery fall design.
The other polish that looked like something a little out of the box (in the spirit of Halloween and all things creepy, I can’t let this opportunity go without making an “Awwwww, what’s in the box?!?” joke) is Don’t Let the Dead Bite, a sheer pink polish studded with dark rose glitter. I’ve seen this polish described on other blogs as red glitter in a sheer nude base, and one blogger said the overall effect was like blood spatter (ew), but I’m getting a definite red rose and entrails vibe off Don’t Let the Dead Bite (bigger ew.) Not to say I don’t like the entrailey effect – I actually like it quite a bit. It’s super soft and pretty and extremely flattering on paler skin tones like mine, and it does that thing I love where it looks as though the hex and teeny tiny bar glitter is hanging suspended in the polish. Here I simply painted on three coats of Don’t Let the Dead Bite for a delicate, jelly sandwich-type effect.