Eons ago – actually more like just four or five weeks ago, but we’re going for dramatic emphasis here – my blogger friend Julie of The Redolent Mermaid asked me if I’d be kind enough to create a manicure on her behalf. So when Julie, who is really into pottery, posted about a lovely little glazed planter she recently bought, I thought it would make the perfect (partial) inspiration for those long-promised nails.
Full confession: Pottery? Like, hand-thrown bowls and vases and stuff? Not really my thing, although I can – and do – admire the hard work and talent that undoubtedly goes into the creation of every charmingly lumpy piece. I’m just more of a china dishware kind of person.
However, I can always appreciate a gorgeous colour and a beautiful finish, and Julie’s little planter has both of those things in spades – I was particularly taken with the iridescent blue glaze on the inside of the pot and the multi-chromatic plum drips along the rim.
And so I used both colours – Polish Me Silly’s plummy purple multi-chrome, Guilty Pleasure, and A England’s purple-tinged turquoise, Whispering Waves, here alongside A England’s stormy grey Wuthering Heights – in this fun, mermaid-y mani that incorporates some of Julie’s favourite things with my talent for turning total randomness into nail art. Enjoy!
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.
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.
It is an absolutely bee-youtiful day in the neighbourhood, complete with sunny skies, melting snow, birds a-tweeting and, to my never-ending delight, a neighbour out walking her two fat cats on the path that runs alongside my building. And I don’t know about you, but I think beautiful days call for beautiful nails, especially ones that evoke all things warm and springy.
Here we have another manicure inspired by a Demeter perfume, this time the sweet and simple fragrance of herbal lavender. I think perhaps the background polish I chose for these nails, A England’s Wuthering Heights, is a tad too dark to really let the delicate little lavender blossoms shine – these nails ultimately remind me of a pair of flannel pyjamas I used to own! Still fitting, though, given the whole lavender-sleep connection.
With apologies to the smattering of kind people who liked this post the first two times I attempted to publish it. I’m actually running a bit of an informal test here to see if the time of posting makes as much of a difference as I seem to believe it does (as in, the sweet spot for my blog, that gap of time that puts my work in front of as many people as possible, is 9:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. EST. Anything outside of that will net me not even one quarter of the interest were it published during the magic hours. If my suspicions are correct, it will be an annoying, but helpful, piece of information on how to more efficiently manage my blog.)
And I have to believe it’s a matter of timing, because the alternative – that this manicure bloody sucks, which I don’t believe it does – is rather unappealing. As an informal nail artist and blogger, I put a lot of thought and effort into my work, and the thought that it’s passing by unnoticed because of an issue of timing is aggravating in the extreme. So we’re going to try this thing one more time, with feeling! for the cheap seats in the back! to see if this mani does indeed blow, or do I just need to get a better handle on my posting schedule?
Details, details. And the details on this particular manicure are as follows: A England’s turquoise Whispering Waves under two coats of Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s stunning holographic glitter, Mermaid. Pretty no matter what time of day, but let’s see if third time’s the charm, shall we?
Here’s a pretty A England polish with a typically florid name, turquoise-to-purple duochrome Whispering Waves. A England is the king (or queen) of the posh naming scheme, christening their lacquers with evocative monikers inspired by British nobility, Arthurian legend and various works of Victorian era literature. The polishes themselves are so beautifully made – every A England polish I own applies exactly the same way, which is to say perfectly – and the colours they select – pale pinks, steely greys, tartan greens and rich roses – are soft and elegant. Whispering Waves, with its lush, oceanic hue and flashy purple shimmer, seems almost off brand in comparison, but hey, I ain’t complain’, because wow, this is one gorgeous polish. I particularly love the way the purple shimmer makes it look like it’s glowing from within.
Whispering Waves was only just recently released as part of A England’s Heavenly Quotes Collection. I suspect it’s going to be popular, and therefore difficult to get your hands on. I purchased my bottle through Nail Polish Canada, although I see that as of this post, they’re unfortunately sold out. Not to fret, though – this is absolutely one they’ll be restocking. Whisper away, waves.
Good grief, this polish is a knockout and a half! This is A England’s Rose Bower, a polish I have thus far neglected to give the full swatching experience for what I can only now conclude are totally bogus reasons, because it’s STUNNING. Like its purple holographic sister, Crown of Thistles, Rose Bower is a shimmer-infused one-coater that positively glows from within. You can really ramp up that lit-from-within effect, too, by adding one more coat of Rose Bower to deepen the colour and a final coat of Seche Vite to pull out the shimmer. But Rose Bower is equally lovely on its own, drying down nicely to a smooth eggshell finish in one easy coat. And not for nothing, but bearing the label “one-coater” is actually something pretty desirable in a red nail polish; they have a tendency to stain the skin around your cuticles and nails if you colour too far outside the lines, so the less monkeying around you have to do with a red polish, the fewer chances you’ll have to dye your mitts indelible pink!
And what of that red colour? Well, it’s fabulous, of course! Variations on tomato red still set the standard for red nail polish, but I actually prefer berry red hues like Rose Bower, which is rich and lush and vampy in all the very best ways. Gorgeous!