Pink Bubbles

Pink Bubbles HandA beautiful Saturday like the one I’m enjoying demands a favourite manicure, a simple but eye-catching combination of a fun, (glow-in-the-dark!) base polish and a cute matte glitter topper. No fuss, no muss, and we’re all out the door in a flash and on our way to better weekend things.

For these nails, I topped three coats of Serum No. 5’s glow-in-the-dark Awesome Blossom with one coat of Polish Me Silly’s pink, blue and white glitter topper, Mr. Bubble. I’ve used Awesome Blossom as a base in more manicures than I can count, although when it comes to its glow-in-the-darkiness, it has never thrown off more light than a watery, pastel violet. A bit of a disappointment there. But separate and apart from the glow-in-the-dark gimmick, Awesome Blossom really lives up to its name, providing a beautiful background for a wide variety of glitter polishes and more intricate nail art. Colour-wise, these photos actually do not show Awesome Blossom in its full, in-real-life, ELECTRIC NEON PINK glory. I mean, it’s super, super bright – a true pastel neon pink. It’ll burn the eyeballs straight out your skull if you stare at it too long. Although probably not. 😉Pink Bubbles Bottle

Here’s what I was talking about with that glow-in-the-dark thing. These photos show the glow as a dark blue, but I assure you, in real life it’s lilac. Colour-matching blues/purples/greens in photography, how you vex me so!Pink Bubbles Glow Hand

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Sari Style

Sari Style HandI’ve recently gotten into the habit of grabbing a handful of randomly coloured polishes and just seeing where the inspiration takes me. After fishing this collection of polishes out of my stash – L’Oreal’s gold Because You’re Worth It, Wet n Wild’s orange Sunny Side Up, Sally Hansen’s grape jelly-hued Pep-Plum and OPI’s purple Do You Have This Color in Stock-Holm? – I was inspired to try my hand at some every-nail-for-itself, embroidered-esque nail art, the end result of which reminds me of gorgeous, hothouse-hued saris. I used to live near a fabric store that specialized in the intricately embroidered and sequined fabrics I imagine an Indian woman would wear to a formal event like a wedding. Or the Oscars. The price per yard was just this side of obscene, though, dashing my hopes of draping my bedroom in gorgeously woven fabric, although afterwards I continued to pine and admire from afar. These nails really remind me of some of those fabrics, and thankfully at a fraction of the cost. Nail art for the win once again!

Ravishing Raspberry

Rose Bower CollageGood grief, this polish is a knockout and a half! This is A England’s Rose Bower, a polish I have thus far neglected to give the full swatching experience for what I can only now conclude are totally bogus reasons, because it’s STUNNING. Like its purple holographic sister, Crown of Thistles, Rose Bower is a shimmer-infused one-coater that positively glows from within. You can really ramp up that lit-from-within effect, too, by adding one more coat of Rose Bower to deepen the colour and a final coat of Seche Vite to pull out the shimmer. But Rose Bower is equally lovely on its own, drying down nicely to a smooth eggshell finish in one easy coat. And not for nothing, but bearing the label “one-coater” is actually something pretty desirable in a red nail polish; they have a tendency to stain the skin around your cuticles and nails if you colour too far outside the lines, so the less monkeying around you have to do with a red polish, the fewer chances you’ll have to dye your mitts indelible pink!

And what of that red colour? Well, it’s fabulous, of course! Variations on tomato red still set the standard for red nail polish, but I actually prefer berry red hues like Rose Bower, which is rich and lush and vampy in all the very best ways. Gorgeous!Rose Bower Fingers

Polished Pucci

Pucci Print HandThe late Emilio Pucci was the long-time head of Italian fashion house Pucci, a brand that specialized – still does, actually – in super bright geometric and abstract prints. I’ve never owned any pieces myself, but a girl can admire from afar. The thing I love about Pucci is it’s organized chaos – sure, there’s eight different colours on that one skirt alone, but everything is properly in its place, aided in large part by the outlining in Pucci’s prints that keeps everything looking sharp and clear and tidily within its lines.

This manicure is a great example of nail art that began in one place and wound up in another altogether, with unexpectedly pleasant results. I was actually on my way to some stitched-type nails, but once I drew on the black outlining, I found I quite liked the crisp and colourful design sans stitches, and so for once I let ‘er be! I really love the trio of colours I used in this manicure, a quite Pucci-esque combination of lime green, neon turquoise and grape purple that looks superb and summery outlined in stark black. Now just put this design on an A-line dress (or shoes; yeeessss, shoes!) and we’re all set. Or I’m all set.

Parisian Sweets

Parisian Sweets CollageI was swatching this lacquer, Picture Polish’s corally-pink Paris, and thought my completed mani could use a bit of embellishment. I rarely, if ever, reach for my very small selection of studs, gems and fimo pieces when I’m looking for a little something extra to add to my manis; I’m more likely to brush on a few freehanded touches than anything. Or sometimes I go with both, as I did here, taking a bit of extra punny inspiration from this polish’s name. Sweet!

And of Paris, the polish, itself? Gorgeous, lovely, beautiful – nothing but positive adjectives here. Picture Polish’s lacquers – the four or so I’ve tried myself – are universally impressive, particularly the scattered holo shimmer type, like Paris. I used one coat of Seche Vite over these nails, because I always do, but Paris dries down to a lovely satin finish that looks great and wears well all on its own. Extra sweet!Parisian Sweets Fingers

A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That

A Little Bit HandThe colour palette I used in this every-nail-for-itself manicure – grape purple, dark turquoise, nude, gold and black – is a rich, bold and unusual one that begs for multiple types of nail art to showcase it to its best, from stripes and swirls, to blossoms and scales. So why settle for one design when you could have a little bit of everything? I really love this type of random/not random mani that’s limited only to what you think might look nice on each one of your nails, although I think I like it even more when there’s a little bit of polish cohesion to tie the whole beautiful package together.

Powerpuff Girls!

Powerpuff Girls HandI actually never watched the Powerpuff Girls, a Cartoon Network show about three super powered little girls who routinely save the world from evildoing, with any regularity. I was a little beyond their target audience by the time they achieved peak saturation (I’m more of the Sailor Moon generation when it comes to acid trip cartoon preferences.) But I do remember catching one fabulous episode where the Girls, Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup, fly too close to the sun and suffer epic, nth degree sunburns. They spend the remainder of the episode wallowing in calamine-ice baths, and in one hilarious sequence that goes on for an entire minute, struggle to spring into evil-busting action, cringing and grimacing and crunching as they haul themselves up out of their baths. One of those fantastic TV bits that’s always stuck with me. 🙂