Abstract (Nail) Art

Abstract HandI have NO idea what’s going on here! Is that an animal print? Or maybe amoebas? Or the pattern on a tufted ottoman I saw last week? More importantly, do I care? Not really, actually, because I think I’m sort of in love, even if I don’t quite know what I’m in love with. Allover patterns are a favourite, and it’s refreshing to see the crisp colour combination of red, white and blue in a non-patriotic application. Plus I got to use a polish that I really did purchase accidentally (I thought I had clicked on its page neighbour) and now love unconditionally, Contrary Polish’s shimmery red jelly, Beach Blanket. Out in the sun it does the typical juicy, squishy jelly thing, but in lower lighting its purple shimmer adds a gorgeous, but subtle, hit of spotted visual interest that elevates Beach Blanket from an unfortunate mis-click to an absolute must-have.Beach Blanket Bottle

Blame Canada!

Dream On Bottle 1For your inability to get this stunning lacquer, Enchanted Polish’s holographic Dream On, anywhere but Canada, as it’s a Nail Polish Canada exclusive. I was initially sort of on the fence about this purchase, which – confession time – I mostly made because it’s a limited edition, exclusive polish. Which is really sort of lame, for all the obvious reasons, but also because I’ve already got a purple holo – an Enchanted purple holo, no less! – in my stash and didn’t really see the need for a second. But me of little faith, I really need to stop doubting Enchanted’s flawless products (I suppose one flaw might be their higher-than-average price point, but for rock solid quality in a polish this gorgeous, I’m okay with that) because they are truly flawless, and Dream On is no exception.

Okay, so in this particular instance I might be a bit confused by the name and colour of this polish – Dream On, and a heathered, dusty purple – as neither exactly screams “Canada!” to me. Unless it’s “Dream On, ya hoser, if you thought this polish was going to be called Beaver Brown or Timmy’s Red. Don’t stereotype, eh?” Which is always a lesson worth reinforcing, even if you’re only talking about nail polish.

Ding dang, y’all:Dream On Collage

And not too shabby in the shade either:Dream On Fingers


Toastess CollageThe last time I used this glitter polish, KB Shimmer’s Toast-ess With the Mostest, I paired it with an ultra pale pink in a just-the-tips-of-my-nails gradient. This time I’m going for a top-down approach that sees Toast-ess teamed up with Dollish Polish’s Pulp Fiction-themed rose shimmer, English Motherf*cker, Do You Speak It? Pushing Toast-ess’s gold, silver and rose-hued glitter – including gigantic, rainbow-throwing holographic circles – up towards my cuticles in a kind of half moon sort of makes it look like my fingernails are sporting little crowns or really bizarrely-placed rings. Plus I just love pairing such a ladylike look with a base polish with “motherf*cker” in its title.Toastess Inside Fingers

Granny’s Chenille Bedspread

FleursShow of hands if your grandmother had one of those furry chenille bedspreads with the little embroidered (or – egads! – plastic) daisies sewn to the top. My grandmother had a ducky yellow one for her single twin bed (she and my grandfather slept in separate bedrooms from about their early 60s on because my grandmother snores like a grizzly bear in hibernation.) I was always sort of fascinated with that bedspread, with an odd and infantile assortment of embroidered daisies and butterflies nestled its pale yellow fuzz. Come to think of it, I believe my grandmother had a matching robe! Ahh, perfect for those days when you’d like nothing more than to be swaddled in 360 degrees of floral duck fuzz.

These nails, my submission for the theme of pastel flowers in a challenge I’m participating in on Instagram, remind me of those (admittedly super soft) chenille bedspreads. I really love this type of close-cropped floral design where the flowers – nothing more than centre dots ringed by short little free-handed lines – look as through they’re knitted together (which is really quite fitting, given how much these nails remind me of textiles!)


Daredevil FingersAre you watching it? You should be watching it. Hell(‘s Kitchen), I should be watching it. Right now! Mr. Finger Candy binge-watched it pretty much the instant Netflix made it available for streaming, and I watched enough here and there to get me interested in settling in for a good old binge of my own. Daredevil’s my kind of superhero – neither super nor a hero, just one righteously pissed off dude on a mission (see also the Punisher, Batman and, to a lesser extent, the Crow – sure, he’s brought back to life through supernatural means, but for one very specific purpose, and the second he goes off script, he suffers. Again. Because the life and death of Eric Draven can’t be anything but endless friggin’ suffering. I mean, have you heard the man’s “music”? Tortured and torturous.)

But to bring it back to Daredevil, the Marvel television show currently airing on Netflix, one of my favourite things about it so far is the show’s opening credits sequence. There’s just some supremely cool graphics work at play, as thick, viscous-looking ropes of dark red fluid stream over top of landmark buildings and locations in the Daredevil Universe, running down off the screen. This show is bloody, so that fluid is most likely actual blood that Daredevil has bludgeoned out of some hapless underworld type, although it could also be rubber, like his super suit. Or it’s what blind lawyer Matt Murdock, Daredevil’s daytime alter ego, sees after losing most of his eyesight as a child in a chemical accident (why is there always some vat of acid just laying around all unattended in the super worlds?) I actually think it might be Daredevil’s sense of ennui come to thick, smothering life – brother’s so beat-down, he makes Batman look like a ray of sunshine in a pink party dress.

These nails, a red-on-red, shiny-on-matte mani, are inspired by Daredevil’s badass credits sequence. Here I topped three coats of Dollish Polish’s You’ve Got Red On You with one coat of Essie’s Matte About You before brushing on the shiny dripping lines with a tiny detail brush dipped in L’Oreal’s dark red Now You See Me. Plus a whole load of aggravating cleanup, because bloody red is just a total jerk to work with, something I think both nail artists and Daredevil can attest to!Daredevil Hand

I Myself Am Strange and Unusual

Beetlejuice CollageHere’s a great example of a polish that’s more than the sum of its apparent parts thanks to a super cute name and a lovingly faithful recreation of a beloved movie character, in polished form! This is I Myself Am Strange and Unusual, a Beetlejuice-inspired lacquer from Dollish Polish’s recently released Cult Movie Classics Collection. The name comes from a declaration that gloomy goth girl Lydia Deetz loftily makes that she can see ghosts because, like the ghosts themselves, she is herself strange and unusual. The name is cute, and the polish itself is nice enough, although probably not something I’d buy were it not inspired by and named after one of my favourite movies. But the perfect touch on this polished sundae – the thing that takes it from a maybe-buy to a must-buy, particularly for Beetlejuice fans – is its flawless attention to detail in capturing Lydia’s general essence. The colour, for one, is perfect, a greyed-out periwinkle the colour of violently stormy skies shot through with glass shard glitter as brittle as Lydia herself. This polish also features a healthy scattering of plum and blue micro glitter, which in certain lights makes it look like the exact colour of Lydia’s bedroom walls. They’re little, but important, touches, particularly for fangirl types like me! 🙂I Myself Fingers

Silk Maiden: A Then and Now Post

Silk Maiden HandJust in case you’re wondering exactly how random (and multi-sided) my thought processes can be, here’s how these nails, a “reboot” of the first manicure I ever shared on this blog, came into existence:

1. Week four’s theme in April’s N.A.I.L. Challenge is Spring flowers. I like roses; I should do roses.

2. Ooh, remember those roses you did waaaaaaaaayyyyy back when in that mess of Alice: Madness Returns manis you were doing?

3. That game was awesome. I wish Crazy Horse would come out with another one.

4. Anyhow, you could try those roses again. That Silk Maiden dress Alice wears in the Mysterious East level is such a beautiful design, and I’m sure you’ve improved enough to do the things you were scared to even attempt last time.

5. Ooh, Snickers!

6. Try to concentrate. Anyways, why stop at the print on Alice’s silk dress? We could also add the design on her apron, and the bow at the back of her obi with the odd little shrunken head at its centre!

7. Oh, it’s “we” now, is it? Except that’s veering a tad astray from the Spring flowers prompt, is it not?

8. Sure, but three fingers’ worth of Alice’s navy blue Chinoiserie-inspired gown is better than none. Plus look at that adorable little green shrunken head!

9. You had me at “shrunken head.”

And scene!

This really was the first manicure I posted to this blog, at the beginning of August 2013. I had taken up nail art as a rather intensive hobby some months prior, but had no outlet for it other than pestering my friends on Facebook with an endless series of photos of my ultra wonky first efforts. So instead of driving them (further) insane, I started this blog, and these were the first nails I felt comfortable enough to share with the greater world. Encouragingly, it would appear as though lots of little things about my technique have improved (to say nothing of my iPhotography and layout skills.)

Over the Rainbow

Wizard of Oz HandI think I hit all the salient plot points in this somewhat abbreviated, lacquered retelling of The Wizard of Oz. I mean, there’s a sepia-toned tornado that sucks up Dorothy’s house (not shown) and a cow (shown.) A Wiccan with fabulous taste in striped tights and glittery red shoes is crushed to death. Dorothy jacks the dead lady’s heels (BAD FORM, DOROTHY) and then walks for miles on an improbably-hued road before going to the Emerald City, the end. And that’s pretty much it, right? Can’t imagine what else I might be missing here… 😉