Marvelous Mermaid

Marvelous Mermaid Fingers

Tremendously practical, this mermaid-approved mani!  That just tends to happen with glitter placement – here using Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s blue holo glitter bomb, Mermaid – but all the same, perhaps next time in the interest of not snagging my nails on absolutely everything I pass, I should scale back a bit?  Wah-waaaaahhhhhhhh. 🙂

Marvelous Mermaid Bottle

Party Hearty

Mardis Gras Bottle

So it struck me today that on the cusp of my *cough*(inaudible)*cough* birthday, I’m about 1,000 times lamer than my 70-year-old parents, who are at this very moment partying at Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  That’s WAY advanced party studies right there – they may as well be in Ibiza!  I’m chuckling at the imagery, but two of us are nibbling on powder-dusted beignets and roulez-ing le bon temps this evening and one of us is reheating last night’s broccoli mac and cheese and watching the final episode of Crazyhead, so who’s winning at life now?  (Possibly me; Crazyhead is wicked awesome.)

At least I’ll always have you, nails, this time a simple, but glittery, mani in some very Mardi Gras shades, Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s There’s No Place Like Home, a green and gold glitter topper, over A England’s purple Crown of Thistles.

Mardis Gras Fingers

Bubble Bubble

hubba-bubble-fingers

…toil and trouble.  The toil being the not inconsiderable amount of time I put into this manicure, only to then run directly into the trouble – smashing my fingertips straight into the bathroom door after a post-mani wash-up.  Aargh!  As always, take your time, friends, to do all parts of a job well, and don’t forget to stick the landing!

(P.S. The glitter polish I used here?  Polish Me Silly’s Mr. Bubble.  It’s bath time fun for everyone!)

A Springtime Pick-Me-Up

springtime-fingers

It is of course no such thing as The Spring.  Where I live (eastern Ontario) it’s still firmly winter, and will remain that way until my birthday, which is in the middle of April.  Any snowfall after that date sends me into a rage spiral, but until then, I can and will deal.

But my city has also been enjoying a rare break in the chill, with temperatures soaring to and remaining well above the freezing mark for most of the last week.  What a sad benchmark for acceptable weather – above freezing!  I was joking with a friend who lives down south that this is exactly the kind of weather that prompts some of the city’s, uh, heartier types to don their bikinis and then have the local paper take glamour shots of them on the beach surrounded by freezing cold sand and half-thawed chunks of shore ice. Like clockwork, every year!

Also like clockwork?  That I’ll use these adorable little floral nail charms in a manicure at least every few months.  I love how adorably unwieldy they are – I really can’t see them working in everyday use, even if you Krazy Glue-d them to your fingernails.  But in an of-the-moment mani?  So cute, especially when they’re paired with a soft and springy glitter polish like KB Shimmer’s To Peach His Own.

springtime-bottle

Pretty Glittery

pretty-glittery-fingers

Yes to both!  Because sometimes between nail art seasons – here the just-passed Valentine’s Day and the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day – you need a bit of a glittery palette cleanser, here Essie’s glittery pink topcoat, A Cut Above, over Glam Polish’s Second Star to the Right, a shimmery blue, and Ladies Choice, a pale aqua blue.

KB Kitties

kb-kitties-fingers

With a little help from some water vinyl nail art stickers from Daily Charme.  More on those in a second.

But first, the polishes!  Which would be KB Shimmer’s soft, coral-y pink, Blush Money, topped with KB’s leopard print glitter, Spot Sign.  Blush Money, a peachy-pink holo sprinkled with gold shimmer, is a real chameleon, shifting from a bright coral-rose in the shade to a warm, glowy peach in the sun.  I think both in the bottle and as against my very pale skin it looks like Nars’ venerable Orgasm blush.  And Spot Sign, as always, is awesome – a leopard print mani in just a few swipes of the brush – but temperamental. The little C-shaped leopard glitters want to stick together and they really do snag on everything, so Spot Sign will require your patience, and about two layers of topcoat.

kb-kitties-collage

So the nail art stickers?  Bit of a learning curve with these guys.  Having never used water vinyls before (really, I’m not much for nail art accessories of any description) I didn’t know what to expect, and the instructions on the back of the package were somehow both overly simplistic AND needlessly complicated.  And that really did these vinyls a great disservice, because in the end, they turned out to be fantastically easy to apply. They’ve also worn beautifully and didn’t smudge all to heck and back when I topped them with topcoat.  That’s nail artist pay dirt right there!

kb-kitties-water-vinyls-pic

The instructions for these cute kitty nail stickers called for an assortment of cutting and soaking and buffing and then, somewhat alarmingly, the back-to-back use of both water and a blow dryer.  Sounds dangerous! Also made very little sense to me, which is why I was initially left with the impression that these stickers were total garbage.

But they weren’t!  Far from it, actually.  I just needed to spend a bit of time tinkering about with these very versatile vinyls.  Basically, it went a bit like this:

  1. Peel the protective film off the sheet of stickers.  The printed designs will be on one side, and a simple, lightweight piece of adhesive paper will be on the other.
  2. Taking a pair of sharp manicure scissors, cut out the design or designs you’d like to use, including the adhesive backing.  Don’t feel confined to taking one design – here the cute black kitties – at a time; if there’s two designs side by side on the sheet that you just love, then cut them out together!  Also, you don’t need to cut in extremely close to the design, as the backing on these vinyls is translucent and the edges disappear entirely once topcoated.
  3. Taking a small bowl of room temperature water and working one at a time, drop your tiny speck of paper into the water.  You’ll immediately see the adhesive backing take on water, and then after another 10 or so seconds, the vinyl design will separate from the paper.
  4. Reach out and touch the tip of your finger to the vinyl – it’ll cling to it a lot like a contact lens.  Then apply the vinyl to your (painted and dried, but now slightly damp) nails by simply touching your finger to your nails.  The sticker will now cling to your nails, and if your nails are wet enough (dunk them in the water you used to soak the vinyls and blow off the excess) you’ll have a bit of play to push your sticker around until you’ve found the perfect place for your design.
  5. Top with a layer of high gloss topcoat and marvel at the streak-free finish.  I really can’t oversell that point enough – many a mani has been ruined or at least severely compromised by streaky black detail paint!  That these kitties came out so crisply is something of a nail art miracle to me!

kb-kitties-sun-fingers

Ice Cream Jelly Sandwich

ice-cream-jelly-sandwich

It occurred to me today that I haven’t done a jelly sandwich manicure in ages.  So I rectified that odd little blank spot in my nail art endeavors, creating a jelly sandwich – that’s glitter polish sandwiched between layers of a sheer jelly polish – before topping the whole works with a couple of ice cream nail charms.  Et voila, a creamy, sprinkled, ice cream jelly sandwich! That’s also some quality nail art word association, no? 🙂