Hello Skincare!

Another Kitty Collage

Years ago a friend gave me these Hello Kitty skincare products she picked up on her travels with the exact same instructions she gave me when she once gifted me with a bottle of bacon-flavoured soda – “DO NOT actually use this!  Just look at it!”  Sage advice on the soda AND the skincare products – the wash/toner/lotion trio is of the whitening variety, and if there’s anything this Celtic hide don’t need, it’s additional whitening (seriously, please stop bleaching yourselves, folks, and I say that as a girl who once rubbed lemon juice all over her arms and then sat out in the sun to bleach her freckles.  Know what happened?  Citric acid burns on top of a sunburn, that’s what.)

So I most likely will not use these products (maybe the sheet masks, although I note that the expiration dates on both have already passed) but, per my friend’s advice, we can all still certainly take a peek AT them, right? Right we are!

Kitty Mask Collage.jpg

The sheet masks are adorable, but what else do you expect from something branded to Hello Kitty?  I’m fairly certain that cat doesn’t know how to do anything BUT adorable. I’ve never used a sheet mask before – I’m an old school, mud-in-a-pot masker.  I’m curious to see how they will perform (and yes, looks like I’ve decided I am going to be using those masks after all, expiration dates be damned!)  I really sort of hope the results are as depicted on the back of the larger of the two masks, because it looks like Kitty got her paws into the REAL good stuff!

Strung Out Kitty Instructions

I like to think the four-part instructions, which I of course cannot decipher but for their pictograms, go as follows:

  1. Look like a bag of cat ass?
  2. Feel like a bag of cat ass?
  3. Put on this mask and join the Purge!
  4. Then you will be totally strung-out.

For real, this cat looks like she’s an extra in the next Purge movie, The Purge: Say Hello to My Little Kitty.

The whitening trio is super cute – love the iridescent sheen on the little tubes – and I’m already getting great use out of the zip-top makeup bag, but I think the contents are going to stay right where they are.  I have no desire to suffer a chemical burn from past-due bleaching products.  Safety first, cuteness second. 😉

White Kitty Collage

 

Fruity Fingers

Fruity Fingers Sun

These nails, which rely heavily on those little Fimo pieces that never, ever want to lay flat on your nails, turned out much better than anticipated.  Although the little Fimo fruits would not, could not, lay flat on my nails, and this manicure is impractical plus-plus.  So pretty much business as usual for 3D nail art embellishments. But cute?  So cute!

In combination, the two glittery polishes I used here, Smitten Polish’s green Not Your Mama’s Easter Grass and turquoise Glacial Springs, remind me of an icy tropical drink. And because no good, blue curacao-soaked frozen cocktail is complete with at least a bit of garnish, I added some of that, too.  Drink up – there’s lots of good-for-you fruit in there!

Fruity Fingers Shade

Eye-Searing Citrus

Citrus Smoothie Fingers

Bright!  So bright!  Just a simple, super vibrant combo here of a couple of unnamed neon jellies topped with Candy Lacquer’s ultra fruity Citrus Smoothie glitter topper.  In real life, this manicure is a touch more yellow and a smidge more pink than it’s showing in these photos – with apologies, neons can do some very strange things to a camera’s colour correctness.

Citrus Smoothie Bottle

Summer Reading

Christopher Pike Collage

Long before Twilight and The Hunger Games and whatever other dystopian, supernaturally-tinged young adult book series comes along next, young readers like my friends and I were spun for YA novelist Christopher Pike.  To walk into a bookstore and see a shelf of brand new, neon-splashed book covers bearing Pike’s name was just the best thing on earth – it meant that once I had arrived home in half an hour’s time (I would have started powering through those books in the backseat of the car, were it not for the fact that merely reading passing billboards made – and still makes – me feel a bit queasy) I’d grab a drink and a cat and a handful of snacks and screw off to some shady, remote part of my family’s hobby farm to devour my teen thriller in one spectacular sitting.

R.L. Stein, a contemporary of Pike’s and the author of the wildly popular Goosebumps and Fear Street serials, never did it for me the way Christopher Pike did.  Goosebumps skewed a bit young (it was really more for readers aged seven to 10) and the Fear Street books felt flimsy and juvenile.

Pike’s books, though, felt like works of some substance.  Violent, pulpy and occasionally a bit too advanced for their target audience (The Midnight Club is a story about teenagers dying in a ritzy hospice; that’s a really hard nut to crack for an 11-year-old) Christopher Pike’s books were my introduction to genre writing, ranging all over the spectrum from supernatural romances (See You Later) and noir-ish thrillers (Last Act), to tales of Nikita-esque vengeance (Witch) and proto-torture porn (Whisper of Death.)

077 straightened

I think the thing I loved the most about Christopher Pike’s books, though, was they did not talk down to their young audience, nor did they round off the edges of teenage excess – Pike’s characters drank, took drugs, had sex.  Occasionally they also got infected with alien bat creature virus after engaging in some very ill-advised lake nookie with the handsome quarterBAT of the high school football team and ate their nerdy best friend alive, but hey, that’s the risk you take if you’re the main character in a Christopher Pike novel (Monster.)

Years ago my husband bid on six or seven large lots of Christopher Pike books following a discussion we had about our favourite childhood novels, and then promptly forgot about all of them once he won the first.  Over the next month or so, we took delivery of approximately 150 Christopher Pike paperbacks, the duplicates sometimes numbering three or even four.  Every summer since then, I dig out my seriously pared-down collection and, on beautiful days and nights, immerse myself in Pike’s twisted world of revenge fantasies, supernatural thrillers and murder mysteries, gladly welcoming back those wonderful feelings of nostalgia that only come from revisiting cherished moments in your life.  That we should all be so lucky.  And now I’ve put them on my nails. 🙂

Christopher Pike Fingers

All My Friends Are Heathens

Suicide Squad 1 Hand

Know who was already ridiculously excited to see the Suicide Squad movie even before they released the soundtrack and she discovered twenty one pilots recorded the first single?  This person.  SO EXCITED!  The second trailer set to Bohemian Rhapsody?  A work of friggin’ beauty (also the thing that has me a touch worried; Black Dynamite, a 2009 spoof of the Blaxploitation movies of the 1970s, had an absolutely brilliant trailer that disappointingly failed to materialize into even five minutes of watchable film.)  Nothing but love, too, for the Heathens of twenty one pilots – if Josh and Tyler want to spend their off hours playing and pacing the dark, damp-soaked halls of Belle Reve prison for the comically insane, I’ll be right there alongside them.

I have so many thoughts on the subject of Suicide Squad and twenty one pilots, they’ll have to wait for another day, but I’ll say this right now: Before this flick comes out in two months’ time, someone needs to figure out how to harness the power of teenage boners as an energy source, because Margot Robbie’s cute, scampy, batshit bonkers Harley Quinn (painted here on my middle finger, alongside Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang) could power the entire eastern seaboard until Christmas.  Also, we are going to be AWASH in Harleys this coming Halloween, trust.

Suicide Squad 1 Fingers

Fishnets and Mermaids

Mermaid Collage

Because nine times out of 10 your intended fish scale design will wind up looking more like fishnets.  But super cool purple fishnets over a holographic turquoise base, which sounds like just stupendous leg adornment, right?

For these nails that could either be mermaid scales or fishnets, or perhaps even a mermaid IN fishnets, I used two holographic A England polishes, turquoise Whispering Waves and plummy Crown of Thistles, painting the purple scales over the turquoise base on my index and pinkie fingers, before topping my two middle fingers with one coat of Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s Mermaid glitter topper.

Mermaid Bottle

Blue Belle

Holo Blues Collage

Hey, I made this polish!  Okay, obviously not Mega, the silver ILNP holo. That lacquer is a thing of beauty, and worth every cent of its rather elevated price tag.  But the blue glitter polish?  That’s mine!

One of only a small handful of personal use polishes I made nearly three years ago now, its name is I Blue It, and I was super pleased to see that even after all this time, and despite its DIY DNA, it’s still a pretty awesome lacquer.  A chunky glitter, yes, so a pain in the butt to remove, just like all glitter polishes.  Ain’t nuffin to be done about that.  But I Blue It has maintained its not-too-thick, not-too-thin consistency, and continues to apply smoothly and evenly.  I Blue It’s colour has also remained consistent over the years, the slightly dusky blue jelly base untouched by colour bleed from its white and black glitters. All the props to solvent resistant glitter for that – you can’t make a homemade polish without it.

Holo Blues Bottle Again

And all the props to me for this cute manicure that’s all tied up with a couple of turquoise bows.  I hadn’t planned on doing a second manicure yesterday, but with the sun out in its full, holo-blazing glory and these two polishes next up on deck, how could I not? 🙂

Holo Blues Fingers 1

What’s the Frequency, Sandra?

What's the Frequency, Sandra

I have as of late been feeling quite nostalgic.  The start of the summer break always has a way of doing that to me, but this year’s Summertime Sadness has felt especially potent. It’s the memory of all those hot, heady, almost languid days of summers past when my biggest responsibilities were showing up at my part-time job for 20 hours a week and remembering to slap on a coat or 12 of sunscreen before hitting the backyard pool, lest I crisp up into a large Celtic lobster.

Anyhow, I’ve been feeling all of the nostalgic warm and fuzzies lately, particularly in relation to days of fashion past.  And what you’re looking at here is the nail art equivalent of an outfit I wore my final year of high school until the pants literally fell apart at the seams.  Because they were crazy gigantic, super janky jeans that one of my best friends quite inexpertly Frankensteined together out of a slightly smaller pair of gigantic jeans and two hip-to-toe panels of burnt orange paisley and polka dotted fabric.  And no, I did not attend high school in the 1970s – this was the mid-90s.

I would inevitably pair those jeans with my favourite t-shirt, because I wore that thing all the time, and if I wasn’t wearing it, I was probably naked.  Khaki green and printed with a huge black star across the chest, I’m pretty sure it’s the same t-shirt Michael Stipe wears in R.E.M.’s What’s the Frequency, Kenneth? video.  I’m not sure where Michael Stipe might have picked up his star tee, but I purchased mine from Ron Jon’s Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach, Florida (that’s remarkable really only in that it turns out that Ron Jon’s was an unanticipated eight hour round-trip drive to and from our hotel; I will never forget that, and if by some chance I do, my dad, who drove that day through, like, the backwoods of Florida (I believe they’re called the Everglades) will be there to remind me!)

Rounding out the whole look was a beat-up pair of once-dusky blue Converse sneakers with “I hate my generation,” a lyric from a Sloan song, scrawled across the right shoe’s instep.

Good grief, being a teenager was – and no doubt is – (try)hard work. 😉

Black Pearl

Black Pearl Fingers

Years ago, somewhere in between dressing like an overgrown skater skid crossed with a Spice Girl (the mid to late ’90s were a very confusing time fashion-wise) and then adopting the style I have now, which is actually no style at all, I was running around town in what I liked to call Business Goth – basically business casual clothes in all your favourite shades of black, ebony and onyx.  But always with a devastatingly nasty pair of shoes, because one does want a hint of colour (and a whole lot of shit-kicking height.)  Pearls helped up the sparkle factor as well, especially this tragically fake, multi-tiered necklace I bought on clearance from Claire’s and wore until the clasp broke and its hundreds of tiny plastic spheres rained down onto my hardwood floors. These nails look a lot like that necklace.

I’m still finding those beads, by the way.

Sunset Flakies

The Road to Awe Collage

Here’s a simple and striking manicure that’s evocative of the colours in a warm summer sunset, kind of like the ones I am fortunate enough to frequently enjoy from one of my two balconies. Tonight’s sun has very nearly set, but here’s a pretty picture from a couple of weeks ago.  My city enjoys some of North America’s best sunsets; it’s an added bonus that I can just glance out my kitchen window and see this:

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For these nails, I layered ILNP’s The Road to Awe, a green-to-gold-to-fuchsia-to-purple chromatic flakie topper, over KB Shimmer’s Soul Deep, a deep, blue-black creme.

The Road to Awe Fingers

The Road to Awe Bottle