Under the sea, you say? Well, what about on top of the sea? Does that count? I certainly hope so, as these super glitzy seaweed nails are my entry towards day 23’s theme of under the sea in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge.
I adore the base polish I used here as my sea, Smitten Polish’s Glacial Springs. It has acted as the gorgeous, glittering stand-in for water in more of my designs than I can count, and it works for nearly every type of water at that, from tropical lagoons to the iced turquoise waters of the Arctic. Here I topped Glacial Springs with some very random tangles of lacquered seaweed in a couple of different shades of grass green and gold before topping it off with one coat of shine-enhancing Seche Vite. Quite ritzy for a slimy water plant we all prefer to sidestep (or possibly eat, but in an entirely different context!)
Day 22’s theme in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge was star signs. As I’m an Aries, that clearly called for a manicure depicting…floating rams in space? Okay, sure, we’ll go with that! I also added my sign’s corresponding star cluster to my thumbnail. Cute? All (star) signs point to yes!
“If you liked it then you should have drawn a ring on it!” That’s totally how that song goes, right?
I LOVE this manicure, way more than I thought I was going to when I set out to create an entry for day 20’s theme of jewels in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge. A while back I purchased a number of gemstone-type nail embellishments, including these oval opals, that I had yet to use; it suddenly seemed like the right time to put a ring on it, or at least paint one on my actual ring finger as an accent nail.
For this manicure, I painted my nails with three coats of Daydream, a minty-turquoise holographic lacquer from Enchanted Polish. That it’s the highly covetable robin’s egg blue of a Tiffany jewelry box is actually something of a happy coincidence – I actually chose it because it’s a recent addition to my collection and I had yet to swatch it. Once dry, I sealed in my Daydream-y base with one coat of Seche Vite. Then, with the topcoat on my ring finger still slightly tacky, I lightly dropped one of the opal gems onto the surface of my nail, gently nudging it into place with a toothpick. After allowing that to dry for 10 or so minutes, I then dotted on a gemstone-encircling frame and two horizontal bands with OPI’s My Signature is “DC”. Annnndddddd that’s pretty much it! Really easy, but amazingly effective, thematically appropriate and beyond pretty. And if that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is. 😉
Day 19’s prompt in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge was lipstick, which is a new one for me. What’s not new for me, though, is the lipstick I chose as the inspiration for these nails, Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, a sheer red gloss in a brushed silver tube I’ve worn pretty well exclusively for the past 20 years. The shade Black Honey, which I attempted to mimic here with multiple coats of red and black jelly polishes, is a hugely popular one; blackened reddish-purple in the tube, it appears on the lip as a satiny and super flattering sheer berry red. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t look great in Black Honey, and the day Clinique ceases to make it – Black Honey is offered in a number of different lipstick and gloss formulations – they’re going to have a full scale riot on their hands. Never underestimate the woman who has had a decades-long relationship with her lipstick! Or women, because I suspect I am far from the only one.
This manicure was mainly an exercise in layering, a subtle tweaking of the colours to get to that juicy, darkened plum look I most associate with Black Honey. Here I used Mentality Nail Polish’s slightly shimmery red and grey jellies from their Glazing Art Set, laying down two coats of grey, three coats of red and one more coat of grey before topping it off with Nfu Oh’s JS24, a clear red jelly that added beautiful depth and shine. Then, drawing inspiration from the brushed metal tubes of Almost Lipstick, I taped off and then painted in some angled, tube-type metallic details right at the tips of my nails with OPI’s My Signature is “DC”. Finally, I added a few drips of “black honey” to my thumb, because we really like to keep things literal here at Finger Candy HQ. S.W.A.K.!
I went for an inked-on expression of l’amour for day 18’s theme of love in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge. For these tatted up nails, I took inspiration from the lettering on those knuckle duster tattoos that, spread out across two hands, often read LOVE/HATE or PATI/ENCE or maybe KITT/YCAT. I filled in the lettering with the red, purple and grey glazes from Mentality’s Glazing Art Set, sheer polishes designed for maximum blendability. I then added a few tattoo-style roses to my thumb and outlined them in black for a stark, graphic look. Love this love!
That these nails, a manicure inspired by a favourite pair of shoes, turned out so well has come as a rather delightful surprise. Sometimes when you just randomly start sponging polishes onto your nails, as I did here, things can go a bit pear-shaped. But at the risk of sounding abhorrently pretentious, these nails came about in a really organic way where I just knew which polishes were going to recreate the look and feel of my favourite Nine West pumps, and that’s exactly how it happened. Zero drama! And I think this manicure – nothing more than four polishes sponged one atop the other – is a pretty solid ringer for the real deal, right down to the lightly textured sparkles.
So down to the nitty gritty! Although this manicure is actually not gritty at all, even though we’re dealing here with at least one textured polish. 😉 I started off by laying down two coats of Glam Polish’s Lydia, a purple duochrome stuffed with indigo blue sparkles. After it had dried, I sponged on one light coat of what I call the reverse version of Lydia, Glam Polish’s Wednesday, an indigo blue duochrome speckled with purple glitter. Inspiration then struck, and I decided to go the textured route, sponging on, again, one light coat of OPI’s Liquid Sand in Get Your Number, an ice blue textured polish stuffed with silver holographic glitter. Finally, I – yup, you guessed it! – sponged on one very light coat of Hard Candy’s Mermaid Magic, a teal micro glitter speckled with purple hexes.
I toyed around with the idea of painting a frame around the edges of my nails – my shoes, after all, are edged in metallic purple piping. But sometimes it’s best to quit while you’re ahead and not let things get too needlessly complicated. I think that’s something we should all shoes to do more often, don’t you?
Galaxy nails (a type of design that makes your nails twinkle like the cosmos) are a mainstay of the nail art world. Indeed, it was after only my third or fourth attempt at nail art, period, that I decided to just jump in the deep end and lay down some sponged-on space nails, technique (or lack thereof) be damned! But it turns out that galaxy manicures are actually pretty easy, and somewhat blunder-proof – after all, the cosmos is just a higgeldy piggeldy mess of colours, lights and sparkles to begin with (Finger Candy: Come for the nails, stay for the faulty science!)
One of the trickier parts of the galaxy look, though, is duplicating the tiny, ice cold pinpricks of light that dot the night sky. Glitter polishes can really pull their weight as starry sky stand-ins, but if you use too heavy a hand, you’ll muddle the look.
But a polish like this one, the aptly named Instant Galaxy, is the perfect backing for spaced-out nails – one light, even coat over a dark polish truly does produce a perfect instant galaxy. Here I’ve shown Instant Galaxy, a holographic topper speckled with tiny ice blue flakies and holo micro glitter, over a basic black creme in both the shade and the sun. In the shade, this polish produces a gorgeous, lightly speckled effect where the flakies glow from within like the first ice chip stars in the velvet night sky (cripes, now we’re getting into overly florid poetic recitations; looks like you’re all getting a full Finger Candy education today, my friends!) I also think this combination in the shade can look a bit like granite – it would be cool to try it over a darkened green or brown or blue. But the really nice surprise with Instant Galaxy is that in addition to being a gorgeous shimmer topper, it’s also a MEGA holo that will turn any polish it touches into an instant rainbow.
All the way around, Instant Galaxy is a pretty perfect specimen (and now we’ve circled back to the science again. But hey, don’t worry, gang, I’ll cut you some slack on tonight’s homework, just because I’m nice that way. Class dismissed!)
Out of focus holos are the best holos!