I’d love to say these cool, tie dye-patterned nails were an intentional thing, but like all delightful creations, they began in a very different place from which they wound up. I was going for another fluid art look, this time in a bouquet of spring pastels, so inspired by some springin’ sprinkles I recently purchased from Sprinkle Pop (more on the fab world of bespoke sprinkles next post.)
But I jumped the gun and didn’t let my little self-made nail decals dry thoroughly, so when I topped my finished mani with a requisite coat of Seche Vite, it smudged up into this still-pretty tie dye concoction that reminds me of Hypercolor shirts from the ’90s (a type of tie dye, I suppose, if watery pastels mixed with sweat is your bag. Yikes, the ’90s were a rough time, sartorially speaking!)
In high school I owned a pair of pastel, plaid, old man golf pants that were about four sizes too big for me. I bought them at a secondhand store that specialized in such fashionable inanities (that particular store was also where I purchased a number of long, sweeping broomstick skirts – man, they looked so great with a pair of Docs – a lumpy, but gorgeous, Fair Isle sweater for $5 and a pair of leather wrist cuffs for my future husband and I that actually turned out to be bondage wear.) Paired with my very favourite t-shirt, a khaki green Third Rail tee with a giant black star on the chest – you might have also seen it on Michael Stipe in R.E.M.’s What’s the Frequency, Kenneth? video if you’re old like me and remember either R.E.M. or music videos – it made for quite the fetching ensemble. Really, though, one of my all time favourite outfits – I loved both those pants and that t-shirt INTENSELY, even though I looked like a cracked out grandpa (ESPECIALLY if I paired the above with a pair of Birkenstocks!)
These madras plaid-inspired nails remind me of those pants. Okay, so this plaid might be a touch vibrant – my golf pants were firmly in Easter egg territory – but heavens, is it close! Time to note – or is it that apparent? – that putting together a fashionable ensemble has never really been my thing? 🙂
I’d typically tell you to beware the sandwich that’s speckled in anything (except for that crunchy munchy flax stuff; it’s delicious) but this isn’t your usual sandwich (besides, I shouldn’t have to tell you NOT to put it in your mouth. What, are you a toddler?!) You all know I’m a real sucker for a jelly sandwich manicure, not just because they’re quick, easy and effective, but because they really allow you to stretch your creative, create-a-polish legs and cobble together some fun, Designer Imposter-type looks (I just lost everyone under the age of 25. Are Designer Imposter perfumes even a thing any more? Think cheap body sprays described as “Like CK One” or “Sunflowers-esque.” They were super popular in the ’80s and ’90s. Then again, so was Exclamation and Love’s Baby Soft, which smelled like diapers before the aforementioned toddlers got to them.)
Take this creation, for instance, a combination of Mentality Nail Polish’s red glaze and Sally Hansen’s glittery Over the Rainblue. I saw a similarly composed indie polish on Instagram the other day – simple and striking, but maybe not something I needed right that very second. Especially not when I thought I could maybe create something very similar with a couple of polishes I already had at home, which is precisely what I did. And while the inspiration for these nails was actually a holographic polish, I think the slight shimmer of the cherry red glaze and the tiny holo bars in Over the Rainblue are perfectly acceptable substitutes in this basic glitter-over-polish manicure (or, more accurately, glitter-over-AND-under-polish manicure.) I especially like the way the holographic blue glitter shines through the red glaze, making these speckled nails look as though they’re lit from within.
Week one’s challenge prompt in the Nail Art Ideas Linkup was marsala, Pantone’s recently-anointed colour of the year (that would be an earthy, brownish-red to all you philistines.) Being one to never let a horrible groaner of a pun go un-punned, I decided to combine the colour and the concept, adding some holographic chicken drumsticks to Contrary Polish’s “Okay, so it’s not quite marsala, but I swore off brick red makeup back in 1993, so close enough” Beach Blanket. Not quite genuine chicken marsala either (hey look, it’s perfectly good chicken and pasta you destroyed with cheap wine!) but yummy-looking all the same given that it’s nail polish. 😉
Show of well manicured hands if you were a Canadian teen in the ’90s who spent at least a portion of your weekends listlessly hate-watching cable channel Much Music’s Saturday night bump and grind-o-rama, Electric Circus. Actually, to be fair to the Circus – on which I was featured in about 1995 regrettably not as a dancer, but as a nabbed-off-the-street interviewer of of-the-moment R&B “sensation” Tony! Toni! Tone!, which really makes no sense because I was super into grunge and quite openly snobby about it – there was very little bumping and grinding. The dancers featured on Electric Circus every Saturday night in Much Music’s retrofitted and black-lit studios were well trained, intense and FOCUSED (very busy work is being a dancer up on one of the boxes, THE sign that you had made it in the ’90s club dance scene.) Even the kids who lined up every week to be chosen as one of the evening’s 50 or so regular, on-the-floor dancers brought their A game, and there wasn’t a whole lot of that gross thing that guys did in the ’90s where they just come up behind you on the dance floor, sock their crotch against your butt, bellow something completely inarticulate and Labatt Dry-scented directly into your eardrum before attempting some pelvic-a-licious dance maneuver, at which point you fake an aneurysm and you and your friend decamp to the bar two blocks down, which is actually just fine because you left your coats there earlier so as to avoid having to check them at the bar up the road, even though it’s -25 degrees out and you’re in your very tiniest, and tightest, baby tee, which isn’t actually yours, but you’ve worn it out so often, your best friend really ought to just give it to you out of the goodness of her heart, because it makes your boobs look really great. True story.) Ah yes, kids, improbably enough, it was a more innocent time!
Long tangent short: These nails, Dance Legend’s neon glitter topper, Rio #1, over OPI’s silver foil, My Signature is “DC”, remind me of the vibe and look of Electric Circus – lots and lots of neon and shiny, dancing stars.