I’m All Ears

All Ears HandI’ve just noticed that I have featured a lot of blue polish-based manicures on the blog as of late. This runs contrary to my general nail art MO, which is to dabble a bit across the entire rainbow spectrum, never lingering too long on any one hue. But I guess I’ve been feeling the blue lately (as opposed to just plain old feeling blue) because here’s another one!All Ears Bottle

It looks like Mickey’s got his head in the clouds again with this mani, where I brushed on one coat of All Ears, a Mickey glitter-studded polish from Whimsical Ideas by Pam, over a background of fluffy white clouds in a blue (and glow in the dark) sky. All Ears is lovely and classic Mickey – tiny red, white and yellow matte hexes make up the bulk of the glitter mix, but the Mickey heads are plentiful and not the least bit difficult to capture on the brush – and the blue background polish is a favourite of mine, Serum No. 5’s Blue Blazes, a sky blue creme that glows electric neon turquoise. Here’s the best shot of Blue Blazes in action I’ve ever taken, which is still not saying much, but we’re getting better!Glow in the Dark Mickey

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A Gala Affair

Gala Collage WatermarkedIn a recent frenzy of post-holiday nail polish procurement, I bought a number of lovelies from new-to-me manufacturers, indie and commercial alike, including the makers of this gorgeous lacquer, Mentality Nail Polish. This is Gala, part of what Mentality calls their jellychrome line, and it’s a stunner, one of those highly covetable polishes that can look like five different beauties depending on the angle of your hand and the quality of the light. Indeed quite jelly-ish in texture and multichromatic in colour, Gala is also a matte polish, which adds a sweet little hit of visual interest to this best-in-the-shade shade whose pink glass shimmer shines through as a rich, opalescent flare. Gala has a glossy sister polish of sorts in Detonate, a similarly hued polish, although Mentality calls Detonate a holographic jellychrome. Toemay-toe, toemah-toe, they’re both absolutely gorgeous. I can easily see these polishes turning into a thing, you know, in the vein of other recent must-haves like Orly’s Mirroball and L’Oreal’s Masked Affair. It’s just a matter of discovering them. I discovered mine at Harlow & Co., if you’re likewise charmed.

Getting down to the nitty gritty, here’s the 411 on Gala: Application was a breeze. Gala is a touch thick, but not unmanageably so. These photos show two coats of Gala sans topcoat, although it’s very nearly opaque in one if you’re not too particular about visible nail lines. Colour-wise, Gala swings through the opalescent spectrum, presenting as clear turquoise and periwinkle blue in the sun, to an almost purple shimmer-tinged silver in the shade. It also wore like absolute iron, and looked pretty fantastic as the base for some frosty, glittery nail art, if I may be not so humble! A really fantastic polish, and already a favourite of 2015.Gala 5Gala Fingers

Let’s Get Physical

Let's Get PhysicalA friend of mine who is a major Olivia Newton-John fan (“Who?” said the kids. “You know, the pretty blonde woman from that weird singing movie about the ’50s with the greasy guy your mom had a big crush on in Pulp Fiction,” said I) celebrated an undisclosed number of fabulous years on this earth yesterday, and so to honour his big girl crush, I whipped up these ONJ-centric nails inspired by the cover artwork to her 1981 pop hit, Let’s Get Physical. If you’ve never seen the accompanying video, it’s more than worth a gander. Nowhere will you find more pelvic thrusting, satin spandex pants and legwarmers (except perhaps an American Apparel store.) And come to think of it, I believe the television show Glee covered Let’s Get Physical, and Ms Newton-John herself was a guest star on at least one episode (back when I used to watch Glee, which really does not account for a particularly long period of my life; off topic, but it went south pretty quickly and I bailed hard.)

But getting back to the topic at hand, I was initially quite reticent to do these nails because real life realness – as in figure drawing or anything that’s supposed to look remotely lifelike – is absolutely not where my nail art talents lie. I’m good at coming up with fun colour combos and painting my nails to look like food and other cartoony, -oid-type things (sheep-oids, rose-oids, what-the-crap-is-that-supposed-to-be-oids), but never real. And I actually told my friend that I’d do this manicure for him so long as he didn’t mind that Olivia N-J would absolutely come out looking like a stout transvestite with elephantiasis of the chin. Which hey, she kind of does! All the same, I’m still pretty proud of the work on my thumb, which took far longer than I’m willing to disclose, because it’s the first time I ever went for the real as opposed to the cartoon, with not totally unfortunate results. 🙂

Sunrise

Tequila SunriseMore like Tequila Sunrise, amirite?! The initial inspiration for these nails, a simple brushed-on gradient using three warm-toned jellies from Mentality Nail Polish, was fire. I thought combining the red, orange and yellow polishes from Mentality’s 10-piece Glazing Art Set would look a bit like flames licking at the tips of my fingers (how very Beetlejuice!) Instead I wound up with something more akin to grenadine (pomegranate syrup, you heathens) slowly sinking to the bottom of a Tequila Sunrise, which is one of those deceptively benign-looking layered cocktails that will lure you into a night of feckless debauchery and wanton dancing before leaving you cold and shivering and possibly face-down in your toilet the next morning. Or so I’ve heard. 😉

And now one from the “Back in my day” files: Many moons ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was attending high school, it was year-end tradition for the graduating seniors to camp out in the back field on the second last night of school, after having spent the evening one province over where the drinking age was ever so slightly lower doing totally innocent things like reading poetry aloud to one another or helping little old ladies cross the street, BUT OF COURSE (okay, so that’s a huge fib. My class at least had the dubious distinction of drinking one bar out of their entire stock of Midori melon liqueur, and when the DJ came on over the PA to reassure the green-lipped masses that MORE MIDORI WAS ON ITS WAY, my entire class cheered ecstatically. And then probably did the Macarena, because it was 1996, that song was everywhere and dancing ironically was already becoming a thing.) The event was called Tequila Sunrise, and stretched well beyond sunrise (where breakfast was on in the cafeteria for anyone upright and ventilating) into the entire last day of school, where the seniors were invited to attend their final classes, or not, or show up to say goodbye to everyone and sign some yearbooks, or not…it was all incredibly relaxed and gracious and trusting of the teachers and administration, and I can’t imagine it’s an event that has continued given the age of heightened pearl-clutching we live in now. But it remains one of my favourite high school memories, right down to the day’s last bell, when my friend and I looked at each other in pure astonishment – holy crap, we made it – and then promptly burst into gigantic wracking sobs. It was an emotional moment for sure, and that’s before a girl a few grades down showed up with her guitar and began serenading us with morose Ani DiFranco tunes. A beautifully bittersweet day after a pretty sweet (and tequila-infused) sunrise.Tequila Sunrise Fingers

Wednesday’s Playing With Spikes Again

WednesdayIt’s Wednesday, so what better way to kick off the too-slow slide into the weekend than with this spiked manicure featuring another recent Glam Polish acquisition, the gorgeous and moody blue Wednesday? Like its sister polish, Lydia (as in Deetz), Wednesday (as in Addams) is a beautiful multichrome with an almost foil-like finish, peppered with glimmering micro glitter throughout. The colour shift on Wednesday is subtle, flashing back and forth between a rich, indigo blue and a vibrant, royal purple, with touches of plum glitter throwing off sweet little rainbows.

But since just about the only thing related to Wednesday Addams that could be considered sweet is this polish, I thought I’d toughen things up a bit with an accent nail outfitted with a tiny spiked charm from Daily Charme. I think Miss Addams would definitely approve – that thing looks like it could draw blood if so provoked. Just like her!Crown

Freeze!

Freeze Machine BottleOkay, okay, no need to shout; I can hear you! And I am SO ahead of you, because it has been freaking freezing around here lately. And the bone-chilling, eyelash-freezing, eyeball-singeing, it-hurts-to-breathe-outdoors variety, too. Winter’s unforgiving chill, if we’re being poetic, and one that’s had my city in a sort of stranglehold for about three straight weeks now. We had a bit of a reprieve last week when the temperatures moved into the low double minus digits (it’s a stupid day indeed when you wake up, look at the temperature and think, “Huh, -13. Not bad, not bad”) but on the whole it’s been bitter and unforgiving. But it’s my own dumb fault, because I’m the moron who chooses to live in these conditions for five to seven months out of the year when I could be toasty warm on a beach in Florida (no, actually, I couldn’t – humidity makes me wilt like a pansy and I’m also not that fond of extreme heat. Basically, I should be living in an environment-controlled terrarium with a bunch of tiny, ceramic gnomes.)

This manicure, a gorgeous combination of Mentality Nail Polish’s opalescent matte duochrome, Gala, and Enchanted Polish’s iridescent glitter, Freeze Machine, is a pretty accurate representation of the weather around these parts as of late – crisp and icy, sparkly and sharp, beautiful and ooh, brrr, cold. Lovely!Freeze Machine Hand

Extra! Extra!

Black, White and RedAs the old riddle goes, what’s black and white and re(a)d all over? These nails! Newspapers, too, although there’s an institution desperately clinging to life, much like the joke I just made!

Week three’s prompt in the January N.A.I.L. Challenge was newspaper nails. One of the challenge hostesses, Craftynail, shut the theme down hard with her fabulous newspaper nails that used actual printed paper in a kind of reverse stamping/decal technique, something I’d like to try myself, but just not for this particular challenge. Instead I drew inspiration from that ancient groaner of a riddle, laying down a simple, but striking, black, white and red geometric mani that’s newspaper in essence, if not in practice. 😉