Blue China

China Roses 1

Sort of?  You know, like those ubiquitous blue and white Chinese vases you see anyplace anyone wants to add a touch of “Asian fusion influence”?  Or maybe Wedgewood, another type of blue and white china (English-made, that one.)  Hmm, or perhaps a cross between the two.  Basically, I don’t know what I’m looking at here.

Except for some pretty fly floral nails!  I’m so pleased with how this manicure turned out, particularly as I only used three polishes, a neutral beige base, a dusty pale blue, and that stupendous indigo creme, Londontown‘s Lakur polish in Iconic.  I’ve mentioned in the past that I don’t find nail polish to be the easiest artistic medium to work with – it wants to dry out so quickly, I never feel like I have enough time to putter about, mix up my paints, try new techniques.  But I’ve been attempting to use my nail polish more like acrylic paints these days, and that’s how these lovely nails came about.  I particularly love the sweet little variegated petals on the roses, which were the result of dipping my detail brush first into the pale blue polish and then into the dark blue polish, before brushing the whole pretty, swirly mess onto my nails.  Feels a little more undone than my usual, and a lot more natural, too (you know, if blue roses existed outside of a giant plastic bucket filled with three dozen white roses and a metric ton of blue food colouring!)

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Amethyst-y!

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That’s a big Buffy-ism – tacking a “Y” onto the end of any word, not to describe a thing, but the general state of a thing.  So this manicure, which looks like a purple gemstone caught somewhere between an amethyst and a tanzanite, definitely qualifies as an entry in the suffix chapter of Buff’s Good Guide to Grammar.  The little round studs up by my cuticles are natural seashell gems I picked up from Daily Charme.  They come in all sorts of colours and mimic the look of natural gemstones.  I liked these blue/purple stones best, so that’s why they came home with me!

I did these nails using exactly the same marbling technique as this manicure from the other day.  I just switched up the polishes, using three purple lacquers (a pale lilac creme, a chromatic periwinkle and a deep purple holo), highlighting the “fissures” with a glittery purple topper.  Aw man, I’m really going to have to do that tutorial now, as these are too easy to keep to myself, but also just a touch too hard to describe simply with words.  You know, in a grammar-y-type fashion. 😉  Keep a look out for that one in the coming days, should you be interested in how to create a super high impact, ultra low effort mani.

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Marbleize Me, Michael!

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Heh, that’s a line from the second best character* on my favourite TV show, The Good Place.  Janet, played by D’Arcy Carden, is an “informational assistant” – basically an Alexa that can walk and talk and learn to throw shade.  Janet’s natural state is to walk around as a hot brunette (in inexplicably stodgy 1960s secretary wear) but when the goings get dicey (and are they never not dicey on The Good Place?) she can be “marbleized” – shrunk down into a easily hideable glass marble, simply by inserting the end of a paperclip in the tiny port behind her ear, and booping the end of her nose.  Wow, is The Good Place ever a weird show.

Anyhow, none of that has anything to do with these nails – was just bandying about some ideas for the title of this post and thought, “Huh, these look like marble.  Let’s Play Marbles?  Ugh, no, that’s crap.  Venus de Marble?  Seriously?  Gawd, go home, you’re drunk, that’s terrible.  *GASP!!!MARBLEIZE ME, MICHAEL!!!”  Yup, sometimes it really is just that scattered.  Also, I need to re-watch last season of The Good Place before the fourth – and final – season starts this fall.

Oh-kay, getting back to these nails!  They were insanely easy.  Like, embarrassingly easy.  And they only took about 20 minutes, including dry time.  Maybe I ought to create a tutorial?  But the hows for now?  I dipped a small, wide-edged detail brush into three polishes – here a dark brown, a lighter brown and a pale pink – and gently zigzagged it down my nails, already painted in a simple white creme, to create the veiny look of marble.  I repeated that process wherever there was space, trying to keep things loose and not too “done.”  Annnnnnnnd that was pretty much it.  Oh!  I also added just a tiny bit of glittery gold detailing, just to really highlight those little “fissures.”  Also, too many quotation marks in this post. 😉

*The best character is clearly Jason Mendoza of Jacksonville, Florida.  BORTLES!!!

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The Underdogs

Underdogs Collage

Here’s a couple of polishes I forgot I even owned (renos, man – you’ll misplace every single thing you ever owned, and then spend the next three months trying to hunt it all down again) Dance Legend’s Sun Still Sleeps from their Candy Flakes collection, and Layla’s unfortunately-named CE52.  Both of these polishes are OLD – at least four years – but relatively unused (because I keep forgetting I own them) so they’re still in excellent condition.  I can’t even remember where I bought these (think I got the Layla one from Nail Polish Canada, and I know the Dance Legend one was an import, because DL is a Russian brand.)  I’m sorry, I’m becoming a really crap nail blogger in my advancing years – too many polishes that all vaguely look the same!

Like these two!  The only thing that separates these two polishes, aside from the companies that produce them, is one is blue and one is purple.  Otherwise, they’re both jelly bases (that’s what gives them that squishy sort of look, even when topped with a matte topcoat) loaded with red-to-green iridescent flakes.

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That red/green combination is a popular one in the world of nail polish, because when it’s paired with darker shades, like this blue and this purple, it creates these incredible linear rainbows that run alongside the bottle, and the edges of your nails.  It’s such a pretty look.

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But a MESSY look.  After taking this polish off, I remembered why I don’t use these flakie-type polishes very often – because when you do take them off, the acetone will strip off the colour immediately, leaving you with nothing but flakes, all of which will be resolutely stuck to your nails.  So get ready to put some elbow grease into it, because these polishes do not remove easily.

If you’re in love with either of these long-in-the-tooth, probably discontinued polishes, you can recreate this exact look with a blue and purple polish of your choice, topped with an iridescent flakie topper.  Just about every manufacturer has at least one of these fun, colour-changing “effects” polishes, even the drugstore brands, so there’s lots of choice out there.  Enjoy!

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That’s S’more Like It

Smores Collage 1

Here’s another one of those super fun tri-thermal polishes from KB Shimmer, this time That’s S’more Like It, a brown-to-red-to-berry-to-pink colour-changer shot through with golden shimmer (and yes, I realize that’s more than three hues, but that’s just what these polishes do – the three “base” colours are just a jumping off point for half a dozen or more different looks depending on the temperature of your hands.)

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Like its collection mate, Best Buds, That’s S’more Like It changes from one colour to another, and then one more colour beyond that, in hot and cold temperatures.  With Best Buds, a blue-to-purple-to-mint green colour-shifter, I found the polish most often showed on my nails as the warm-leaning mint green, with streaks of just-starting-to-cool-off plum.

But That’s S’more Like It was alllll over the place, in the very best kind of way.  For those of you who polish seasonally, this is a nice seasons-bridger, with That’s S’more Like It showing on my hands as everything from an almost frosty bubblegum pink, to blushing peach, to strawberry, to fiery cinnamon hearts (oh cripes, I’m getting hungry here!)  My nails were also a tiny bit longer when I swatched That’s S’more Like It than when I swatched Best Buds, so I really got a lot of that edge-of-the-nail, French mani-type action with this one.

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Right after completing this manicure last week, I fell sick.  Just a cold, but it pretty well took me out for the week.  But one thing it did not take out was this mani – a week and a half on, it was still wearing like iron, with virtually no chips, dings or pulls.  Very impressive!

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As always, I purchased this KB Shimmer polish through Harlow & Co.  For a little while there they were out of stock – of these tri-thermals, and just about everything else as well – but everything is back in stock now, so go get you some.  This is a good one. 🙂

Technicolour Swirls

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Well, isn’t this always just the way – sit down with a bunch of polishes and absolutely no firm idea in your mind of what you might like to do with them, and out the other side pops one of the best manicures you’ve done in ages.  Must be a Friend of Murphy kind of situation (as in Murphy’s Law.  I always call annoying, vaguely ironic happenstances (if you’re using the Alanis definition) that don’t fall under the banner of Murphy’s Law “Friends of Murphy.”  I suppose they could also be relatives.  This is very clearly a Maeve Murphy situation as it applies to nail art.  You know, dear old Aunt Maeve with the manicures.)

I think this post may have gotten away from me a bit.

Anyhow, I really did just sit down with a pile of holographic polishes and no real idea of what to do with them, and an hour later this is what emerged.  I don’t often do much colour blending in my manicures, as I find nail lacquer a really difficult medium to paint in – it wants to dry out so quickly, I often don’t have time for proper puttering and painting.  But I gave it a whirl today, and I love the results.

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Also makes for a very pretty wax paper palette.  Just in case you’ve ever wondered, by the way, what kind of palette I use for my polishes, I use whatever’s handiest.  For the longest time I used the front or back of old DVD cases.  It was fun painting blobs of polish over top of Ben Affleck’s face.  But these days I use a tiny square of wax paper, a system that’s working out just fine.  Less waste, mostly, but also the polish seems to dry out not quite so quickly on wax paper as opposed to plastic, which is a definite improvement in my books.  What a glimpse behind the magic! 😉

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Best Buds

Best Buds Collage 1

Here’s a wicked fun and versatile polish for those of you looking for something a lot a bit different, KB Shimmer’s blue-to-plum-to-green tri-thermal, Best Buds.  How neat is this?!  And perfect for the upcoming Halloween season.

I nabbed mine from Harlow & Co., and you can, too, but best of luck choosing a hue (or three hues) from the tri-thermal collection, because they’re all lovely (and they all might unfortunately be out of stock at the moment, too – between writing this yesterday and going to the site today, they have completely sold out of KB’s tri-thermal collection.  Harlow restocks their KB polishes frequently, though, so despair not.)  But I loved the way Best Buds would morph from an inky purple, to a blackened plum, to a gorgeous, clear mint green, sometimes all at the same time.  It’s very witch’s brew, or that every-Slurpee-flavour-in-one-cup kind of thing!

Best Buds Collage 2

As per their name, thermal polishes work by reacting to your body temperature.  To invoke another ’80s concept outside of Slurpees (bet you anything their stock rose just based on the many, many mentions in the most recent season of Stranger Things, no?) they’re the mood ring of polishes.  So if you tend to run a bit hot, as I do, whatever polish you choose will show on your hands most often as that warmer colour, in this case the shimmery mint green.  But if you’re a member of the Cold Hands Club, then it will most often display as the blackened purple.  And if you’re somewhere in between, or simply running in and out of the heat and air conditioning a lot, it will be all over the place – little green here, smudge of purple over there, and a sweet plummy streak running straight down the middle.

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Or you can just cut out Mother Nature altogether and grab yourself a glass of cold water, a glass of hot water, and simply have fun, like I did in this little video I posted to my YouTube channel, Park or Perish!  P or P! (the exclamation point is very Panic at the Disco, who I once saw in concert when they still had the exclamation point in their name) is normally the home of our Disney adventures, but just this once I thought it would be fun to bring my Finger Candy over into the world of moving pictures.  Enjoy!