No, Christmas Tree (When Manis Get Ugly)

No, Christmas Tree HandWhen I chose this lacquer, Polish Me Silly’s green glitter and everything else X-Mas Me Silly, as an un-favourite for week four’s theme of least favourite polish in the February N.A.I.L. Challenge, I had no idea it would lead me towards what is perhaps the ugliest manicure I’ve ever done. But not to worry – it was all on purpose!

The general theme here is my neighbour’s Christmas tree, which from my vantage point in my livingroom I can see plain as day in his. News to absolutely no one, but it is the end of February. That is some quality laziness right there (although my husband thinks he might be a snowbird, and took off for warmer climes immediately after the holidays.) The thing is undoubtedly artificial, which would partially explain its livingroom longevity, but can you imagine if it’s not? Dead/wood City, that’s what.

So with X-Mas Me Silly, a too-much-of-a-good-thing glitter from Polish Me Silly’s 2014 holiday collection, acting as my least favourite chosen one, I drew inspiration from my neighbour’s everlasting ode to the holidays and came up with this gradient mani that’s meant to look like a Christmas tree starting to brown around the edges.

Which would have been ugly enough all on its own had I not chosen to use two other polishes on my hit list of hate, Essence’s bile-hued L.O.L. and OPI’s brown A-Taupe the Space Needle. I colloquially refer to these two as “Neon Pee” and “Electric Baby Poo.” These are some of the ugliest colours in existence, although oddly enough, I use them both for nail art detail work all the time.

But I maybe should have left them out of this doomed-from-the-start mani, because the combination of lumpy X-Mas Me Silly over the sickeningly-coloured L.O.L. and under the greenish-tinged A-Taupe the Space Needle is a truly horrendous one. It reminds me of a Christmas tree all right – a Christmas tree in a basement that’s backed up with about two and a half feet of sewer water. This was a super fun challenge prompt, but I can’t wait to scrape this green gunge off my nails!

The offending parties’ mugshots:Ugly Collage

Mermaid Tears

Mermaid Tears HandI dug this lacquer, Polish Me Silly’s Mermaid Tears, out of my stash yesterday in the hopes of using it in service of the final week’s prompt in February’s N.A.I.L. Challenge. The theme was least favourite polish, and seeing as my true least favourites (very few, thankfully) are presently gracing a landfill just outside of town, that left Mermaid Tears, a green-on-green thermal jelly sprinkled with green holographic circle glitter. I’ve had this polish for a little over a year now, and application has never been anything but a pain. The large circle glitter – lots of it, and clearly visible in the bottle – resolutely refuses to come unstuck from the sides of the bottle, no matter how long you leave it upside down, and the chartreuse-to-jade thermal jelly remains stubbornly sheer, withstanding any attempts at opacity. It was a disappointment, and being an online-only indie purchase, a not inexpensive one, which is the only reason it’s been granted a stay of execution this long. I figured I’d give it one more chance to not do its thing for this challenge prompt before sending it off to the big stash in the sky.

Which is of course the moment Mermaid Tears decided to pull itself together and become the polish I always hoped it would be. Don’t you hate it when that happens? It’s like those times my computer whiffs the big one seemingly for me and me only, because the second I show Mr. Finger Candy IT Support, it’s all “Hey, no problems here. Look at me runnin’ all fancy!” and I want to dropkick it across the room.

But I really have no complaints here. A polish I once liked enough to buy is now behaving the way it was always supposed to – huzzah! And I had to chuckle a bit when I looked down at one point and saw TWO large green circles stuck to my brush, because of course. 🙂 And I don’t know what weird confluence of events or conditions led to it finally behaving (although it is still so, so sheer) but I’ll take it! So back to the drawing board on this least favourite thing, because Mermaid Tears actually redeemed itself pretty nicely.Mermaid Tears Fingers

Hey Ladies!

Ladies Choice CollageGet fon-kay (and cue the cowbell!) Here’s another beautiful polish from Aussie indie maker Glam Polish, this time Ladies Choice, a shimmer and holo-infused stunner from their somewhat recently released Hairspray Collection. There’s quite a few of these shimmery, duochrome-type polishes on the market at the moment, and while the combination of lit-from-within purple shimmer and turquoise holo is not a new one (Mentality’s Gala, a matte jelly take on the trend, is a favourite), Glam Polish’s formulations are across-the-board fantastic, applying smoothly and evenly in two light coats. And just look at all that sparkly holo!Holo Hand

Let’s get up close and personal with Ladies Choice in a macro kind of way, both under the glow of megawatt artificial light and a natural light source. Lovely Ladies, indeed.Macro Ladies Choice Collage

And finally, just a little holographic nail porn to brighten up the end of your day. You are most welcome. 🙂Holo Bottle

Fool’s Gold

Fool's Gold HandMr. Finger Candy has recently become quite enamoured with a charming little Toronto-based rom-com called The F Word (in the United States you’ll find it under the title What If, as though the mere mention of a swear – an incorrect assumption at that, as the F in The F Word stands for “friend” – is enough to irrevocably damage the notoriously fragile American psyche such that the mass pearl-clutching that will result from one even glimpsing the highly offensive title of this PG 13 movie will be enough to strangle an entire nation.)

Tangent on nationality aside, The F Word is adorable. Starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, it’s a sweet little movie about a sweet little pair of friends who eventually become a sweet little couple. It’s sharp and witty, and the two leads have phenomenal chemistry. Plus Toronto looking all hip and cool and so, so Canadian. All around, a very good time at the movies.

One of the major plot devices in the movie is something called a Fool’s Gold sandwich. I won’t tell you how exactly it factors into the story, but a Fool’s Gold sandwich was apparently a culinary favourite of Elvis Presley, a buttered and twice-baked loaf of French bread split end to end, hollowed out and stuffed with one jar of peanut butter, one jar of jam and one pound of salty, crispy bacon. Sounds horrifying, looks even more horrifying in the movie…but then after you’ve watched it about five times because your husband is, as I may have mentioned, enamoured, it starts sounding pretty yummy and looking even better. Were it not for the fact that Mr. Finger Candy is a vegetarian, I’m sure we would have already eaten our combined body weight in Fool’s Gold sammies days ago.

So this meta manicure, with its smiling bacon and glimmering, grinning loaf of French white on a bed of Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s Peanut Butter & Jelly, is for my husband. Because if he can’t eat all the Fool’s Gold sandwiches, he should at least be able to look at them on his wife’s nails.Fool's Gold Bottle

Time to Let It Go

Frozen Collage WatermarkedIs it my imagination, or is Frozen mania finally beginning to loose its icy grip? Parents and Frozen fans, please correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems as though some semblance of sanity is beginning to reassert itself regarding this cute, but so insanely hyped, movie. To make the wretchedest of horrible puns, it would appear as if audiences are at last thawing on the animated, feature length music video for the mega smash hit Let It Go. 😉 I’m not saying it’s time to boot Frozen out into the cold, but the crazy could stand to be dialed down a notch. Or 20.

So before Frozen well and truly jumps the Greenland Shark (the closest thing to an Arctic shark – that’s right, friends, occasionally you will actually learn something along with your daily dose of nail art) I thought I’d share this collage of manicures inspired by some of Anna and Elsa’s more memorable dresses, outfits perfect for nearly any social occasion, from being sworn in as sovereign to tromping through the icy Scandinavian tundra with a talking snowman. As you do.

Embers

Layla Bottle Upside DownPolishes like this one, Layla’s Ceramic Effect nail polish in the rather unimaginatively named EI41, always remind me of tiny embers smouldering away in the depths of a fire that’s almost, but not quite, out. Stuffed with red-to-green-to-gold colour-shifting glass flakies in a purple jelly base, EI41 (or possibly CE52, or perhaps The Butterfly Effect; both numbers appear on the bottle, one on the top and the other on the bottom, while The Butterfly Effect appears as a name on online stocklists only) has real depth and dimension, although the eye-searing rainbow effect that typically happens when glass flakies meet a jewel-toned jelly is somewhat dulled here, perhaps because of the rich, deep hue of the base. But as always, I’m delighted by a polish that actually looks better in the shade as opposed to directly in a blazing beam of sunlight. So many nail polishes are geared towards showing their best sides in sunshine only, which does a real disservice to the other 22 hours of the day when we’re otherwise indoors and not contorting our hands into the weirdest possible upside down angle in order to best appreciate our nails.

This polish, wacky issues with nomenclature aside, was a bit of a find, tucked away in a darkened corner of the multichrome section on Nail Polish Canada‘s website where no one seemed to know it existed. But I found it and it’s now mine, all mine (there is no escape, resistance is futile, YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!, etc.)Layla FingersEI41 Bottle

The Tickle Trunk

Tickle TrunkWhile everyone continues slogging through the interminably long Oscars telecast, I’m casting my mind – and with this Tickle Trunk-inspired manicure, my nails – back to a beloved Canadian children’s television show, Mr. Dressup. Often compared to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for its general tone and vibe (despite actually airing first) Mr. Dressup was a show that ran every day on the CBC (our publicly-funded broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) starring a man by the name of Ernie Coombs, or as generations of Canadian children came to know him, Mr. Dressup. Starting in 1967 and running until 1996, Mr. Dressup was a welcome daily visitor in countless Canadian households, leading children like me through a half hour of imagination games, arts and crafts and the basics of early socialization. He had a couple of puppet friends who lived in a treehouse in his backyard, Casey and his dog, Finnegan, and a kind of study/playroom where he’d dash together the most amazing drawings, paintings and other crafts. But perhaps best of all, he had the Tickle Trunk, a giant red steamer trunk adorned with flowers and butterflies that seemed to contain a nearly limitless number of costumes, from firefighter to wizard to chicken. Mr. Dressup would don the costume and then we’d all get a little lesson in what it was like to be firefighter or a wizard or a chicken. The Tickle Trunk actually always sort of reminded me of Oscar the Grouch’s trashcan on Sesame Street – a sort of trans-dimensional space that goes on for infinity. And may house elephants.

This manicure, which I love far more than I expected to, is inspired by the floral print on the outside of the Tickle Trunk. I love the random flowers in simple, primary colours, and I’m hugely proud of the little butterfly on my index finger. My butterflies typically come out looking more butt than fly, but this wee guy looks like the real deal, or at least the real deal as seen floating across the arched wooden top of the Tickle Trunk (an artifact you can see on display at the CBC Museum in Toronto, Ontario, should you be at all interested. And you should; this is quality Canadiana I’m dropping on you here!)