Harry Potter and the Deathly Holos

Holo Potter HandHoly macaroni, these all-holo Harry Potter nails were a pain in the patronus! This manicure inspired by Hogwarts’ house colours just didn’t want to behave for me, whether it was colours that didn’t quite match up (Slytherin’s green is a dark jade hue; makes you wonder if the kids of Slytherin might have had sunnier dispositions had they been surrounded by a cheerier colour like this one) or the bit of nail art on my thumb – lopsided enough in the final analysis – that started out as Hogwarts’ crest and two botched attempts later became that lopsided H you see before you. This is actually the first Harry Potter manicure I’ve ever done, which is amazing given that I’ve been at this blogging and nail arting thing now for nearly two years, as well as the fact that I really quite like the Harry Potter series, books and movies both. So why the hesitation? Maybe my as-yet-undiscovered wizarding skills and senses were telling me that I was going to whiff it big time, so I’d better hold back? Sounds good to me. Another one – blessedly few, thankfully – to add to the Try Again pile.

I used a mess of holographic polishes in this manicure, because I really loved that title and couldn’t leave a perfectly good pun just laying there, and also because I’ve found that holos, so long as they have good opacity, are great for base work and nail art details alike – lots of built-in shadowing that adds a little something extra to your favourite manis. Here I used two Cirque polishes, golden Chyrsopoeia and green Panacea, two Enchanted Polishes, ruby red February 2015 and dark blue May 2015, Orly’s silver Mirrorball and Lilypad Lacquer’s black Rainbows in Space.Holo Potter Fingers

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S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!

Photobomb FingersI’m a smidge young for that to be a Bay City Rollers reference, but the following statement might date me just as well: I know – and love – a version of the Suh–Suh-Suh-Saturday Night song by a Scottish band I adored in high school called Ned’s Atomic Dustbin off the soundtrack for the movie So I Married an Axe Murderer (phew, that took a minute to come full circle there, no?) Oh, Ned’s – haven’t thought about them in a while! Alternative music-loving kids of the ’90s may remember them as the exceptionally be-coiffed Scottish band with two bassists who did the Kill Your Television song. Or not, because I’m not sure how popular they were on this side of the pond. But their music was a kind of weird and clunky rock-pop that I was powerless to resist in the ’90s, to say nothing of the fact that they were super cute, although there was hardly a band in the ’90s that I didn’t find completely adorable, because dirty musicians with long hair were completely my catnip back then…annnnnnnddddd I may just have wandered off on a bit of a tangent there!

Okay, so to bring this back to the nails, it’s S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night! and I just wanted to do a simple manicure that was fun, summery and maybe very similar in design and colour palette to a pink-base-and-blue-glitter mani that I did last week? Yeah, I’d say they’re definitely in the same family. Second cousins, if you will. For this mani, I used three coats of Mentality Nail Polish’s coral glaze under one coat of a blue and black glitter from Ardene called Photobomb. And if you’re thinking that this is not the first time you’ve seen this coral glaze in one of my manis before, that’s because it is. I use this particular polish all the time in nail art and as a base for more intricate designs, although I use all of the polishes from Mentality’s Glazing Art Set every week, because they’re awesome. Simple as that!Photobomb Mentality Bottle

The Big Flake-Out

Electric Carnival CollageThis simple manicure features one of my favourite high impact, low effort nail art techniques, with a bit of a flakie twist. Here I brushed on two coats of a super high shine black polish before topping it with two coats of ILNP’s chromatic flakie, Electric Carnival, in one strip directly down the centre of each nail. I then topped the whole works with one coat of Seche Vite to enrich the shine and deepen all that gorgeous, colour-shifting flakie goodness. Aaaannnndddd that was it, the end! Dead easy, right? I wish I had more to add, but that’s the beauty of this kind of manicure, so let’s not question it too much, okay?!

I will add that ILNP’s flakies provide full coverage in two coats all on their own, although I prefer pairing them with a dark base in this elongating, less-is-more approach. I also like the way darker polishes offset the colour-shifting flakies, throwing off beautiful chromatic rainbows without being ridiculously over the top. Remember, a good manicure means never having to say, “I’m sorry I blinded you with my nails.”Electric Carnival Fingers

Macramé

Macrame HandFor those not in the textiles know, macramé was – is? – a type of weaving or knotting or crotcheting that was super popular in the 1970s. There certainly seemed to be a lot of throws and wall hangings and rugs born of the unholy union between the home decor sensibilities of the 1970s and a ball of wool. I think it fell out of fashion because it’s ugly and lumpy and smelly (wool goods always sort of smell like wet sheep, no?) These nails, yet another one of those manicures that started in one place and wound up who knows where, really remind me of macramé, just without the ugly, lumpy and smelly part!

For the flowers in these nails, I used nearly all Pure Ice polishes, an inexpensive but great quality brand you can find at Walmart, including blue Celestial, pink Peony and magenta Crazy Love. I also brushed on a few mani-framing leaf fronds in China Glaze’s icy green Four Leaf Clover, to keep this crazy colour combination from veering too far into Insaneo ’70s Polyester Land. Or maybe just veering far enough?

Disney Girl Challenge: Mrs. Jumbo

Mrs. Jumbo HandDumbo is a movie my crybaby constitution cannot contemplate for too long – simply looking up reference photos of Dumbo’s mom, Mrs. Jumbo, put me to tears – so I thought I’d use this manicure, another entry in my ongoing Disney Girl Challenge, as a jumping off point for a funny story that’s rather beloved in my small family circle instead.

Starting when I was just two years old, my parents and I would go to Disney World in Orlando, Florida at least every second year, or more often if time and funds accommodated. Being so little, on that first trip we were pretty much confined to the “kiddie” rides (an easier feat than you’d think – the majority of Disney rides, particularly in the early ’80s when this occurred, are not of the turn-you-inside-out, thrill-type variety) which included a classic attraction that still operates in the Magic Kingdom to this day, Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant is and was a round-and-round ride; you board one of 15 or so individual Dumbos attached to a central spoke, and when the ride starts up, your Dumbo automatically goes round and round while you control, via a lever, your Dumbo going up and down.

That is, of course, provided you understand how the mechanics of a throttle work in the first place, which is an odd little blind spot in my life’s knowledge that I have never, ever managed to rectify (ask Mr. Finger Candy, who has watched me tank more aircraft in video games than either of us can count.) My lack of knowledge in this area occupies the same space as my inability to remember how to play a single card game, and any and all rules of football.

So there I am, in my Dumbo, all the other children gliding around 10 feet above me while I’m trapped on the ground, bouncing along in my puttered-out pachyderm. My parents stood to the side of the ride and shouted out not-so helpful instructions for a while before finally giving up and simply pretending I wasn’t their child – “Wow, whose idiot kid is that?! Certainly not ours!” Quality parenting, Mom and Dad!

Long story short, I never rode Dumbo the Flying Elephant again. Too embarrassing for all parties involved! Also not really my ride jam – even at three, I was all about the Haunted Mansion, and my parents knew it! So maybe they weren’t such bad parents after all. 😉

Cocktail Hour!

Cocktail Hour HandA couple of months ago I did a brushed-on gradient manicure with the warm sister colours to the polishes I used in this manicure – Mentality Nail Polish’s sheer green, aqua (shown below) and blue glazes, in case you were wondering – and it looked exactly like a Tequila Sunrise, one of those alarmingly coloured and potent alcoholic concoctions you can’t help but love, despite its not-from-nature hue. In any event, it would seem I’ve cozied up to the rainbow-coloured bar once again with these nails, another brushed-on manicure using Mentality’s glazes that now reminds me of a Blue Lagoon or a Blue Hawaiian or any other super stainy cocktail involving blue curacao. And what’s a cocktail without a little (fimo cane) garnish, hmm? Nothing I want to drink (that’s a lie; I’ll still drink it, even if my middle-aged constitution no longer allows for the kind of drinking that goes along with blue beverages.)Cocktail Hour FingersCocktail Hour Bottle

Disney Girl Challenge: Rapunzel (Also Again)

Rapunzel HandInside Out is getting all the Disney love this weekend (I know they’re sitting atop that large and glittering heap of Marvel movie money, but how badly do you suppose they want in on all that sweet, sweet Jurassic cash?) but I thought when it came to some nail art, I’d take another run at a slightly older Disney property, Tangled, and its heroine, Rapunzel. I love Tangled – there’s phenomenal songs, Zachary Levi Flynn Ryder is a big time cutie and Maximus sets the standard for wise-beyond-his-looks animal familiars. Mother Gothel’s a stone cold bitch, though, even if she does have the movie’s best song (when do the villains not have the best song?) The only thing that’s missing here is Rapunzel’s trusty frying pan, every princess-and-doesn’t-know-it’s greatest weapon!