My Top 16 Nail Art Designs of 2016

best-16-of-2016-collage

Closing out another year of intensely fussy nail art with a look back at the 16 designs that ruled my 2016. Highlights this year include a growing mastery of the water marbling technique (if not the ability to get any two of my nails to look the same), a begrudging acceptance of once-hated charms, studs and other dangly bits, a more than passing acquaintance with tiny, free-handed designs and an absolute ton of lettering, both on my nails and on the page, one of many fun little tangential offshoots of this nail art business.

In nearly all respects, 2016 has been a miserable year, more like a deeply unpleasant dream than actual reality. But that warm, tiny little fissure of joy I get from a nail art job well done?  That’s real, and cherished – a bright spot amidst the gloom, and one I’d like to share with you.  I hope you enjoy this look back at some of my better efforts. 🙂

Miss Argentina, the droll, seen-it-all receptionist who mans the check-in desk in the Waiting Room of the Dead in the movie Beetlejuice.

Miss Argentina Hand

Custard Waffle Cone, With Sprinkles.  Yummy.

Dollish Polish's Get Your Sprinkle On!: Funfetti Frozen Custard

Beetlejuice.  This manicure is my favourite of the year; I think I really nailed the lettering. A more than fitting tribute for a beloved movie.

beetlejuice-fingers

Suicide Squad, a movie that had a lot of (Hot Topic-infused) style and not much substance.

Suicide Squad 1 Hand

Sandra’s Midnight Garden, because sometimes you just want pretty, pretty nails.

Secret Midnight Garden Fingers

Butterfly Garden, for when you’re in the mood to infuriate yourself with glitter placement.  Also, see above re: pretty.

Butterflies in the Sun

Sandra’s Fabrics.  Here’s another post with my name in the title, this time a play on the name of textile purveyor Jo-Ann’s Fabrics.

sandras-fabrics-side

Saturberries.  Because this is a strawberry manicure and I did it on a Saturday.  Sometimes it’s really just that silly!

Succulent Strawberries Shade

Super Mario Bros.  Boing, boing!

Super Mario 1

Floral Fingers.  The absolute height of 3D embellishment madness.

Floral Fingers 1

Fruity Fingers.  Although there is an awful lot of stuff on these nails, is there not?

Fruity Fingers Shade

What a Gem.  Although these nails are nothing BUT gorgeous little gemstone nail charms atop a smokin’ hot polish, so clearly I have no idea what I’m talking about!

What a Gem 1

The Division.  For my gamer husband, who is approaching 1,000 hours of playable game time.  It’s a sickness.

The Division Hand

Blurryface.  Twenty One Pilots was the non-stop soundtrack to my 2016.

twenty one pilots hand

Saturday Night Sushi.  Another lotsa-stuff-on-my-nails mani painted on a Saturday night.  Those microbeads were a nightmare to corral.

Sushi Hand

Dory.  I like this nail art more than I liked the actual movie.  Pixar, you be slacking lately.

Dory Hand

Mocha Madness

cafe-mocha-bottle

Hmm, New Years resolution for 2017: Stop drinking so damn much coffee!  Because I really do consume a great quantity of caffeine, and that’s not the best thing for a person (or their wallet, if they’re buying out, or their teeth, or their sleeping habits, or the environment, or just their general health.  Wait, tell me again why we slug the stuff back as though it were the very essence of life?  Oh right, because it’s bloody, bitterly fabulous! And because there’s a Starbucks on every third street corner, and what else will go there if not another Starbucks?)

Since this has turned into a bit of a diatribe on coffee, I should note that I’ll probably have an easier time than others kicking the caffeine habit, as I’m one of those annoying types that can turn my addiction on and off at will.  Years ago when I went to PEI for three weeks with my mom, who has never consumed a single ounce of coffee in her entire life, I abstained as well.  Aggravatingly enough, I didn’t suffer any withdrawal symptoms, although re-entry was a bit of a bitch – I had three dee-licious cups of strawberry black tea with our final New Glasgow meal, and I was so wired, I probably could have pushed the car back to Charlottetown.

But there’s still a handful of hours left in 2016, and I’m spending them blogging, nibbling on holiday chocolate, messing about with the Sims (4, and I kind of hate it, but gripes for another time and place) and nursing two – count ’em, TWO! – iced coffees from a favourite local shop.  I’m also wearing both coffee and chocolate on my nails, in the form of two more lovely gifts from my husband, coffee cup nail charms from Daily Charme over KB Shimmer’s espresso-hued brown holo, Oh My Ganache.  Mad for this mocha, indeed.

best-cafe-mocha-fingers

It’s the Bomb! A Lush Bath Bomb Round-Up

lush-bomb-collage

Lush bath bombs, that is!  And 12 of ’em, one for every month of the year, featuring (top row, left to right) Twilight, Frozen, Pumpkin, Lord of Misrule, (middle row, left to right) Autumn Leaf, Monsters’ Ball, Intergalactic, Yoga Bomb, (bottom row, left to right) Luxury Lush Pud, Northern Lights, Shoot for the Stars and The Experimenter.

So I’ve heard tell that rubber duckies make bath time so much fun, but I think the song should be updated to include bath bombs, because that’s where the real bath time fun is to be had.  Actually, for me, fiddling around with multi-coloured bath bombs is pretty well the only reason to take a bath – otherwise, I’m Team Shower all the way.  But who can resist intensely pigmented, glitter-sprinkled balls of bicarbonate daffily dancing about their tub?  Not this blogger!  Also not the eight bajillion people that took advantage of Lush’s buy one, get one Boxing Day sale (I hear it was a circus.)

And so, without further adieu, an assortment of the bubbly bath art that beautified my 2016, co-ordinated to the header photo collage.  Bombs away!

lush-bubbles-collage

Potential and actual repurchases include (top row) Intergalactic, Northern Lights, Twilight, (bottom row) Luxury Lush Pud, Monsters’ Ball and Lord of Misrule because they performed beautifully (vibrant colours, long-lasting bubble effect, cool bath art) and represented great value for an item with a fairly limited application.

lush-repurchase-collage

If you’d like to read my thoughts on each of these bath bombs, or check out the matching manicures I often did to accompany bath time, simply click on the name of your chosen bomb in the top paragraph and you’ll be directed to my rantings and occasional ravings on why, oh why, Lush’s scent descriptions rarely, if ever, match the actual product in question.  Lush: The Only Place Where Mint Actually Means Orange! Until then, Sandra out!

S is for Sandra

Frosty Freeze

frosty-freeze-fingers

I was over at my parents’ for dinner last night, and both prior to and after I had THE most delightful time sllllooowwwwlllly driving my car up and down their double driveway, windows open, listening to the solid sheet of ice beneath the wheels of the car snap, crackle and pop.  It was a bit like driving over a frozen body of water without the fear of plunging to an icy and untimely death.  Gotta get your fun where you can, right? 🙂

These sponged-on nails are just as icy as my parents’ driveway.  For New Years, I hope it sees a bit of melt.

Shoot for the Lush Stars!

Lush Stars Collage.jpg

Doing the matchy-matchy thing again with my nails and my bath products, this time co-ordinating my manicure to two releases from Lush’s winter holiday collection, Shoot for the Stars bath bomb and The Magic of Christmas reusable bubble bar.

Design-wise, both the bath bomb and the bubble bar are adorable as all get-out – super rich pigmentation, cute little add-ons and SO. MUCH. GLITTER!  But in terms of performance?  Well, true to its name, the golden stars embedded in the Shoot for the Stars bath bomb shot straight OFF the bath bomb the second it hit the water, leaving behind these oddly grainy little patches of oily orange ick that I didn’t want to look at, let alone share a bath with.  And while my bathwater was the most gorgeous shade of sparkly, darkened teal, getting there took the bath bomb next to no time, dissolving totally – and with very little fanfare – in a little under 30 seconds.  Very poor value for its $6.95 (Canadian) price tag.

lush-stars-bubbles-collage

Annnnddddd The Magic of Christmas reusable bubble bar (which became no such thing after a great big fault line opened up straight down the middle) smells like Tang.  Or that powdery orange “beverage drink” from McDonald’s.  Then again, I don’t think ANYTHING from Lush actually smells like its description, although that certainly won’t stop me from trying to find the one exception!  In the meantime, matchy manis make everything better.

lush-stars-fingers

Stranger Manis

stranger-manis-collage

For someone who is presently showing off the SIX Stranger Things manicures she did this year, I actually have very little to say on the subject that hasn’t already been said.  It was an absolute delight, and I’m looking forward to the second season with equal parts joy and trepidation – joy because the first season was utter perfection, replacing Buffy – guys, REPLACING BUFFY – as my favourite show, and trepidation because I worry about the “too much of a good thing” effect the Internet will have on subsequent seasons.  But me of little faith shall have to just wait and see what the second installment brings, and content myself with these Stranger manis in the meanwhile.  Work I’m very proud of this year, every last one of them. 🙂

The Flea and the Acrobat

the-flea-and-the-acrobat

Right Here

Stranger Things fingers

Eleven

eleven

Barb

stranger-barb

The Upside Down

The Upside Down

Rolling a 7

ready-to-roll

Chasing Rainbows

chasing-rainbows-bottle

The day after Christmas typically calls for a two-part manicure, one part to show off any fabulous new acquisitions and the other to cleanse the nail art palette after a solid month of holiday-themed manicures.  So how fortunate that my husband gifted me with this gorgeous lacquer, Painted Polish’s Chasing Rainbows, a sparkly little wonder packed with over 45 different matte and holographic glitters.  It’s so fresh-looking, like newly fallen snow blanketing multi-coloured Christmas lights.

chasing-rainbows-fingers

This is my first Painted Polish product, and I’m pretty darn impressed!  Mega glitter polishes like this one can sometimes get quite clumpy and thick, but Chasing Rainbows was neither too thin, nor too thick, applying evenly in just two coats.  Love.  A very good gift (of many; I must have been a very good girl this year, because Santa was great to me.) I know that Mr. Finger Candy Santa acquired this bottle of Chasing Rainbows through Harlow & Co., where it is still listed as in stock, pending any Boxing Day sales. 😉