Blue Spruce

December 2015 Collage

And so here we are at the end of the year, celebrating the final day of December and indeed the entire Year 2015 with one final Enchanted mystery polish, blue spruce-hued December 2015.  I had a feeling that December was going to be a Christmas tree-type green.  The only other green of the year was a pale, watery mint in March; we were overdue for something rich and festive.

Like every other mystery polish released this year, December 2015 is a beautiful holographic shot through with colour-bending shimmer.  The ultra fine gold shimmer running throughout December 2015 is particularly lovely, mingling with the Kelly green base to produce a gentle blue hue that reminds me of blue spruce trees.  The holographic effect in this polish is also spectacular, although that’s really no surprise – a beautiful, dark holo like this one was meant to dazzle, and dazzle it does.

But stain it does not!  Because this time – unlike that time with Colors by Llarowe’s grass green holo, Gemini Rising – I remembered to lay down two thick coats of base coat so I don’t have to walk around for the next month with pee green nails.  See, kids, we’re learnin’!

December 2015 Sun Bottle

In the Year 2015

Best Nail Art of the Year Collage

If 2015 was the year my nail polish collection went from manageable to the edge of some TLC special, it was also the year my nail art abilities went from pretty good to damn, girl, I’m impressed!  Somewhere around the mid-point of the year things just sort of clicked with me – outlining, shadowing and other bits of arty realism started creeping in, taking my work, I thought, from your standard nail art to something a little more special. But then again, I’m obviously totally biased, so grain of salt and all that, yeah?

I had initially thought to limit my 2015 best-ofs to a standard 12 or even 20, but what with being so impressed with myself and all, I thought I’d aim for a solid 25.  Also, 25 photos look nicer in a collage than 20.  Should you wish to check out the original posts that went along with these manicures, simply click on the highlighted title of each post.  Enjoy, and thank you, as always, for your interest in this blog and your even kinder words of encouragement – it is a delight to nail-art with you. 🙂

Best Collage Row 1

Cranberry Jelly: Cranberry sauce just ain’t cranberry sauce without the can ring indentations, even on your nails. This is my favourite manicure of the year.

Just Desserts: A 1950s colour palette meets polka dots and Jadeite in this manicure that makes excellent use of those little Fimo pieces I can’t ever think of a use for.

Disney Girl Challenge: Ariel (Again): An update to an earlier Little Mermaid design, I love this fun and playful Disney mani.

A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That: Gold, turquoise, black, nude and purple combine in this posh, every-nail-for-itself-type manicure.

A Rip in the Very Fabric of Time: Supernatural nails inspired by the novella The Langoliers by one Mr. Stephen King.

Best Collage Row 2

Indelible Love: Wear your love right on your fingertips with this tattoo-style manicure.

Mumu Memories: When I was a kid my aunt brought a turquoise, hibiscus-printed mumu back from Hawaii for me as a gift. I wore it as pyjamas until I graduated from university, at which point it sort of just disintegrated. This lush, tropical mani bears nearly the exact same print as my beloved PJs.

Drop on In: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was the inspiration for this dark and Disney-fied mani.

Let’s Turn on the Juice and See What Shakes Loose: Because there can NEVER be too much Beetlejuice.

Pudgicorn!: Unicorns are always presented as these sleek, slim and endlessly regal creatures. But what about the unicorn with a weight problem, like chubby little Trevor here? Doesn’t he deserve his own nail art? Well, of course he does!

Best Collage Row 3

Kitten Belly!: Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s brown glitter, Just Add Milk, makes its first of two appearances on this list in this manicure inspired by my cat Weegie’s fluffy belly.

Halloween Town: Another second-attempt mani, this time a highly detailed matte design inspired by Halloween Town from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

One Enchanted Dragon: A simple dotticure made stunning through the use of three different, but co-ordinating, colour-shifting Enchanted polishes.

Home of the World’s Happiest Fish!: Come marvel at Duff Gardens’ fabulous belching fish in the Beerquarium in these Simpsons-inspired nails.

Cookie Party!: Just Add Milk steals the show again in this Cookie Monster-inspired manicure. Coooooo-kiiiiiieeeeee!!!

Best Collage Row 4

Marathon Mani: An unexpected colour combination (glow-in-the-dark baby blue, neon green and peach?) gives this easy dotticure a little hit of something extra special.

The Resourceful Gamer: Mr. Finger Candy asked me to do these nails, inspired by his one-time gaming obsession, Clash of Clans. I chose this manicure as one of my best-ofs because it represents a real turning point in my work; after this, outlining and shading my designs became a MUST.

Attack the Block: I love this manicure so much! Inspired by the aliens from Brit creature feature Attack the Block, who are stark black and featureless save for their gigantic, neon blue fangs, the blue jaws on these nails actually GLOW IN THE DARK. I am the queen of all meta nails, bow down before me!

Cocktail Hour!: Before it became the beauty name we shall not speak, Mentality Polish’s glazes represented some of my most frequently used lacquers, particularly in cocktail-type concoctions like this Blue Lagoon-ish one.

I Shoes You!: Nails inspired by a favourite pair of glittery heels, right down to the texture.

Best Collage Row 5

Nail Sushi: A super detailed, all-over sushi design.

Fashionably Floral: These nails, inspired by a dress from designer Monique Lhuillier, were some of my most popular with you, dear readers.

Disney Girl Challenge: Mabel Pines: Little Miss Mabel has the flyest all-turtleneck wardrobe in all of Gravity Falls.

Adventure Time: The All Princess Edition!: There are over 50 princesses that appear on the cartoon Adventure Time. These are five of the more delicious-sounding ones!

Cinderelly, Cinderelly!: A pimped-out pumpkin, fit for a Disney princess.

Holiday Wine

Holiday 2015 Collage

I thought the last lacquer in Enchanted Polish’s 2015 mystery buy program was going to be the as-yet-unswatched December 2015, but it turns out Enchanted had a little surprise up its sleeve, rounding out the year with a special holiday polish to make 2015’s offerings an even baker’s dozen. This gorgeous wintery wine is Holiday 2015, and it’s everything I thought KB Shimmer’s Men Are From Mars-ala was going to be, but regrettably was not – a rich, brown-leaning holograhpic red.  That it’s the more flattering of the two choices is not surprising, given its hints of gorgeous, purpley-red shimmer, which means it’s really not any kind of marsala at all, but hey, wine is wine, amirite? (Says the woman who imbibed high school-style during a reunion of friends and paid for it for the remainder of the holidays.  “Never again!” she AND her friends undoubtedly said…until next year when they plan to do it all over again.)

Holiday 2015 Collage Holo

Great Neptune’s Beard!

Neptune Collage

If we are to go by Johnny Depp’s beloved interpretation, pirates err on the side of being more than a touch metrosexual – rascals, devils, thieves, yes, but in want of a nice manicure?  NEVER.  So I think any pirates in search of a fun new hue would yo-ho, yo-ho all over this drop dead gorgeous lacquer, Enchanted Polish’s turquoise-to-indigo duochrome, Neptune.   A watery-hued cousin of another favourite Enchanted polish, plum-to-purple duochrome Entwined, Neptune features a subtle green-to-blue colour shift that reminds me of gently rolling waves.  Its smattering of delicate holographic glitter really aids in the whole “briny deep” feel, glimmering softly in Neptune’s teal depths like phosphorescent plankton. It’s really quite spectacular.  Big, beautiful recommendation on this one.

Neptune Holo Collage

Neptune Fingers Front

Merry Boxmas!

Mysterious Secret

While I might choose to abstain from December 26th’s annual glut of post-holiday consumerism (I would sooner staple my head to the carpet than go near anything retail-oriented today) I can always appreciate a day off, in this case a day off from the holidays.  Because no matter what you choose to celebrate, holidays, period, are just hard work, yeah?  So much prep and worry and planning and then it’s over in a flash.

But I actually had a very nice holiday – a super fun reunion with old friends, lots of visits with an even older friend (and her new plus one), a wicked cool early morning screening of Star Wars courtesy of Mr. Finger Candy’s company, an obscenely large (and old school) fresh turkey for Christmas dinner, also thanks to the Mr.’s company, a couple of festive lunches (and one Swiss Chalet Festive Dinner) with my parents, a very nice holiday lunch with my husband’s family here in our home, and a pretty spectacular Christmas Day supper – and all of it capped off, literally, with this fly turkey hat, which represents the best $20 I think I’ve ever spent.


Anyhoodle, these nails are pretty and sparkly in a fun and festive way that suggests that the holiday season is not quite over and done with – and yet another glittery version of the “blended tree in a bottle” look that I’m so very fond of.  Here I used two coats of Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s Secret Garden over Enchanted Polish’s mystery pick for November 2015. Although that’s not exactly a secret OR a mystery any more, I suppose!

Mysterious Secret Fingers

The Gingerbread Man

GB Hand

Hey, would you look at that, actual nail art!  I’ve been going all hot and heavy lately with the swatches; I had started to wonder if I could still actually put detail brush to nail.  Apparently I can!  Three cheers for me and my featureless gingerbread man, who apparently has no defining characteristics but for his gumdrop buttons, poor sod.

GB Fingers

Party Perfect Nails

Oswin Bottle

I suspect there will be a lot of people hitting the holiday party circuit this week, myself included – I’m attending a high school reunion dinner with some ladies I’ve known for over 20 years, and then of course there’s the big show on Thursday (I’m more of a Christmas Eve kind of person than Christmas Day; the promise is always so much sweeter than the actual day itself.)

But no matter the event, we all need pretty nails, so why not consider a festive manicure using this delightful polish, Zoya’s Pixie Dust in Oswin? Textured polishes were all the rage some years ago, and I think people got a bit burnt out on them – speaking from a nail art perspective at least, there’s only so much you can do with a textured polish, plus they can be quite destructive to delicate hosiery.

Oswin Fingers 2

So they faded from fashion for a bit, but there are still plenty of terrific textured polishes out there, and Oswin is one of them.  Released as part of the Pixie Dust Collection in 2014, Oswin is a rich raspberry red studded with red hex glitter.  Textured polishes with glitter can sometimes present as a bit lumpy, but Oswin dries down to that true, almost dry-looking textured finish with the glitter just peeking out not-too obnoxiously, and is no snaggier than a fine grade of sandpaper.  Perfect for that party, or just about any other time this holiday season.

Oswin Fingers 1

2015’s Most Valuable Polishes

Best Polishes of 2015 Collage

** I believe this goes without saying in a year-end round-up post, but this is a picture-heavy post. **

Personally, 2015 was about as distressing a year for me as one could (not) ask for. I shall not be sad to see it go. But in terms of quality nail polish acquisition, well, THAT I had in spades.  Priorities, yeah?  In fact, I began the year by sinking every last cent of my holiday gotten gains into nothing but nail polish and nail polish-related accessories.  Still with the priorities.  Along the way I ran across a couple of “meh”s and one or two outright duds, but the majority of this year’s purchases have proven to be eye-catchingly gorgeous, wonderfully unique and beautifully made.  Could you ask for more?  Well, yes, how about great customer service from the predominately indie manufacturers and stocklists that carry these polishes?  Because they certainly had THAT in spades – friendly, professional and helpful, all.

I had initially thought to limit this list to 12 polishes, but that proved to be an impossibility because…well, just because!  Besides, 16 (plus one dark horse entry right in the last three weeks of the year) look so much nicer all laid out in a pretty collage.  Should you wish to check out the original posts where I swatched these polishes, talked up their lovely attributes and undoubtedly yakked on about my cats and/or The Lost Boys, simply click on the name of the polish below.  All right, let’s get into this thing!

Enchanted Polish’s Entwined.


I Love Nail Polish’s Supernova.


KB Shimmer’s Rust No One.

Rust No One Bottle

Enchanted Polish’s Magical Mystery Tour.

Magical Mystery

KB Shimmer’s Such a Vlad-Ass.

Vlad Bottle

Candy Lacquer’s Butterfly Candy.

Butterfly Candy Bottle

Dollish Polish’s Get Your Sprinkle On!


Liquid Sky Lacquer’s Dream.

Dream Bottle

A England’s Crown of Thistles.

A England

Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s Just Add Milk.

Cookie Crop

Candy Lacquer’s Ring Pops.

Ring Pops Bottle

KB Shimmer’s Leaf of Faith.

Be-Leaf Bottle

Enchanted Polish’s Dope Jam.

Dope Jam Bottle Sun

KB Shimmer’s Soul Deep.


I Love Nail Polish’s Electric Carnival.

Electric Circus

Enchanted Polish’s Freeze Machine.

Freeze Machine Bottle

And one to grow on, that last minute entry, Color Club’s Crystal Baller.

Crystal baller.jpg

Dead Men Toe No Tales

Dead Man Bottle shade side

Hey-oh!  Just a little Pirates of the Caribbean-nail polish humour for you there.

So this is dope, right?  Maybe a smidge out of season, but frankly, I’m feeling a bit burnt out on all the bright and sparkly and festive these days. Perhaps what I’m looking for is a polish whose hue can most charitably be described as cadaver-esque?  This is Girly Bits Cosmetics’ Dead Man’s Toe, a purple shimmer-infused, zombie green creme from their Fall 2015 collection. The shimmer in this one does all sorts of tremendous things for the creme base, giving this army green polish an almost oily type of sheen.  That actually sounds sort of unpleasant, in retrospect.  Um, Dead Man’s Toe is the colour of queasiness, but in a good way?  Okay, that’s no better.  Dead Man’s Toe is a beautifully unique polish with a gorgeous formulation and tons of rich visual interest?  Bingo!

Dead Man Fingers front

Berried Alive

Berried Alive Bottle

At the risk of dooming us all to four more months of continuous ice, sleet and snow, the weather around my neck of the Canadian woods lately has been nothing short of positively sublime.  Occasionally in the minuses and frequently sort of drizzly and overcast, sure, but abnormally warm for this time of year, and delightfully so!  I can’t think of anyone who’s bummed by this turn of weather events (I have a very apt saying regarding Ontario winter weather: “Every day it doesn’t snow is another day it doesn’t snow.”)  I actually think I saw a dude wearing shorts last week (ain’t that warm, brother, but you do you.)

So in honour of the weird – but welcome! – winter weather I’m presently enjoying, I thought I’d put together a summery, glittery manicure featuring a new-to-me lacquer, Wicked Polish’s Berried Alive.  A cursory online search seems to suggest that Wicked is no longer in business.  So if you’re truly wowed by this polish, you may have trouble finding it.  I purchased my bottle on sale through Harlow & Co.

But there’s not a ton to be wowed about here, so I’m cool with the one-and-doneness of Berried Alive.  The main problem with this polish is that there is far too much base for the amount of glitter, compounded by the fact that the glitter (an adorable mix of squares, circles, hexes, rectangles, triangles and little pink butterflies) is quite heavy, while the base is quite thin.  In order to pick up ANY glitter on my brush, I had to dump a great big bloody dollop of polish onto my nail and then kind of smoosh it around.  That my manicure didn’t wind up a be-bubbled disaster is nothing short of amazing.  Viewed in profile, I’ve got at least half an inch of polish built up on my nails.

But cute?  So cute!  The colour scheme is adorable (very Mike and Ike) and the mix of glitter VERY reminiscent of my favourite indie polish maker, Candy Lacquer.  But whereas Candy Lacquer excels at both style and substance, Wicked Polish has failed on at least one of those fronts, and is not quite worth the extra (messy) hassle.  So I wouldn’t worry too much about missing out on this polish, cute though it is.

Berried Alive Fingers