Hay There!

Hay There 1

This polish, a China Glaze Halloween release of a few years’ back by the name of Rest in Pieces, always reminds me of straw or hay or dried cornstalks; very appropriate for this time of year.

This manicure in particular – Rest in Pieces here over Essie’s cafe au lait creme, Cocktails & Coconuts – reminds me of one of my favourite episodes of Trading Spaces.  Show of hands if you remember Trading Spaces.  I used to watch it every day in university, sometimes multiple times a day if TLC was running a marathon.  I seriously hated 95 percent of everything the designers did, and I lived for Hilde ruining someone’s mudroom by turning it into a circus-themed wine grotto.

Hay There 2

One of my favourite episodes, though, was the time Hilde and two stunned-into-silence neighbours redecorated a lesbian couple’s livingroom as the inside of an unfinished barn, complete with chicken coop mesh, rough-hewn, terra cotta-hued parging (missed opportunity here to go with a salmon-coloured base polish, darn it!) and random, only-partially-embedded hunks of straw.  Yes, actual straw!  That these two women had three children under five seemed to have completely slipped Hilde’s mind – or rather, she didn’t seem to give a crap that this was a totally inappropriate space for anyone to inhabit, let alone a rambunctious trio of curious young kids.  I remember the neighbours tasked with “bettering” their space were absolutely mortified, had in fact begged Hilde not to move ahead with some of her more asinine ideas (the straw), but the designer clearly had other plans.

I also remember that of the two ladies, one was politely horrified, her eyes wide and surprised and vaguely terrified as she glanced around at the ruin of her livingroom.  And the other was just flat out PISSED.  Livid, actually, and I didn’t blame her one iota – her livingroom had undergone a radical hatchet job.  Then, as if to underscore her furious point, one of the kids ambled over to the scratchy, pointy, dangerous wall and picked off a small handful of straw.  Ha!  Except not ha, because I felt terrible for that family, AND their neighbours, whose relationship was surely damaged by this entire reality TV incident.  Hilde remained oblivious to the end.

Hay There 3

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Leafly

Leafly Fingers

Here’s a pretty, autumn-appropriate polish to add a bit of subtle sparkle to your seasonal soirees, ILNP’s chromatic flakie, The Road to Awe (as in “Oooo!” not “Awww!”)  Despite being released two or three years ago, this polish is still available on ILNP’s site, a testament to its beauty and popularity – it’s just a gorgeous polish.  And a fantastic pick for the Fall, too, with its colour-shifting chromatic flakies in a range of plummy purples, bronzey oranges and leafy yellows (here over a basic black creme, always the best base on which to show off any of these kind of chromatic polishes; classic bedfellows, if you will.)  I also love the smattering of hyacinth blue flakes – they’re the perfect hit of neon to liven up The Road to Awe’s crunchy, glittery “leaves.”  Perfect and perfectly pretty.

Leafly Bottle 2

Hammy Thanksgiving

ham-jubilee-bottle

Happy Thanksgiving, Canadian friends!  As has become my holiday tradition, here is a festive manicure featuring my favourite – and most successful – homemade polish, Hawaiian Ham (so named after those alarming, 1950s-style ham casseroles topped with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries.)  I made up a bottle for some American friends recently, substituting the yellow, pineapple-y glitter for a red-tinged bronze, and renamed this shade Canadian Bacon. 😉

But speaking of rings on the Thanksgiving dinner table, here’s a fun, older mani of mine in which I honoured that most Canadian of festive foodstuffs, the uncut – very important, that – ringed log of cranberry sauce.  Just shoot it straight out of the can and onto a fussy little garnish dish!  The polish I used here was KB Shimmer’s Leaf of Faith; I think it looks like extra chunky cranberry jelly.  Hope you all have a delicious one!

Canned Cranberry Sauce, with Rings!

Turn on the Northern Lights!

Northern Lights Sun Collage

It recently occurred to me that I haven’t done a swatch post in quite some time.  That’s because for the most part, I’ve suspended my informal nail polish procurement program (also known as me sitting in front of online stocklists at two in the morning going, “Ooh, that looks nice!”)  Things had just reached the point where I had no more room to store these things.  But more than that, it seemed like there was nothing new under the sun, and did I really need ANOTHER holographic, purple-to-teal multi-chrome?  TL;DR: I haven’t bought – or swatched – a new polish in a very long time.

But I am now, with this lovely, lustrous lacquer, OPI’s Infinite Shine 2 in Turn on the Northern Lights! Northern Lights is a beautiful, beautiful polish – a thick, gel-based purple polish shot through with fuchsia-to-green micro shimmer.  This polish positively glows in the sun, but in a subdued sort of way – Northern Lights is no disco ball, although I think its gorgeous, jewel-toned purple hues are perfect for a disco Fall. 😉

Northern Lights Bottle Sun

If Turn on the Northern Lights! is part of any sort of gel system, I have no idea.  I know, I know, bad, bad nail blogger, get your facts straight!  But I applied this polish as you would any other – three coats and one layer of a quick dry topcoat – and it produced one of the longest lasting and most beautiful manicures I’ve had the pleasure of wearing in ages (I remove my manis indecently fast, in part because they begin to chip and show wear quickly.)  But these Northern Lights shone brightly, through three days of wear and two trips down to the highly chlorinated pool!  Impressive.

Like all shimmer-laden polishes, Turn on the Northern Lights! does its best work in the sun, although it also looks beautiful in the shade, where you can really see the little bit of chartreuse pixie dust running along the bottom edge of the bottle.  I wish this effect was more pronounced on the nail (or pronounced at all; I saw no trace of the green shimmer in this polish, not even along the very edges of my nails) but I love the glowing, plum-to-purple effect enough that that’s but a tiny nit to pick.

Northern Lights Bottle Shade

 

Sunny Days: A Little Haul Post

Sunny's Main Photo

I’ve sung the sweetly scented praises of Sunny’s Body Products before – they’re a favourite indie bath and beauty shop, and their cuticle oils are the only product I use on my nails. Seems we’re both low tech AND brand loyal here at Finger Candy HQ!  Then again, Sunny’s has given me no cause to stray – their products agree nicely with my skin, I’ve never received anything less than stellar customer service, and in combination with their absolutely gigantic scent list (over 650 wide-ranging fragrances) securing a new favourite is practically guaranteed.

But with the exception of a limited edition, Fall-themed box of bath and beauty items I bought some years ago, I’d yet to try any of Sunny’s products that weren’t cuticle oils.  So with a hot little discount code burning a hole through the ones and zeroes of my digital wallet, I marched off to Sunny’s aaaannnnnndddddd…promptly bought a dozen mini rollerball cuticle oils!  What can I tell you, you buy what you know. 😉  Also, eight of these are for friends (hence the unsightly hockey tape still snugly securing some of the lids.)

Sunny's Rollerball Lineup

Staying here with me (where I will give them a very good home) are the four rollerballs in the middle, Balsam & Citrus (astringent fir trees and juicy citrus; I’m really looking forward to using this one at Christmas), Poison Pie (an old favourite that smells like blueberries, cinnamon apples and flaky, buttery pastry), Pumpkin Crunch Cake (another oldie-but-goodie that smells like spiced yellow pudding cake) and Vanilla Snowflake (a take-my-money combination of icy peppermint, coconut flakes and sweet sugar cookies.)

The rollerball applicators themselves are lightweight, but sturdy enough you can stand them on their ends without them all toppling over.  Inside, the light combination of almond, jojoba and avocado oils mingle with just the right amount of fragrance oil, creating a skin-nourishing treat that I frequently press into double agent action as an allover fragrance.  As always, though, the best thing about these rollerballs – all of Sunny’s products, actually – are the labels.  I can’t imagine the work that must go into compiling all of these custom orders and then matching up the graphic design to each individual fragrance, but I do know I really appreciate the effort.  Half the fun of opening up a Sunny’s order is guessing what adorable labels will be wrapped around your items. My favourite from this go-round was Poison Pie, and yes, those are martini glasses and mason jars filled with eyeballs. 🙂

Sunny's Poison Pie Rollerball

But I didn’t just stop at the cuticle oils this time, adding a whipped soap and a donut-shaped bar soap to my order as well.  You know, for quality testing purposes!  It simply won’t do to have a control group of nothing but cuticle oils.  Simply won’t.

Sunny's Order Wrapped Donut

Scented with my all time favourite Sunny’s fragrance, Blueberry Cheesecake, both the whipped soap and the donut soap are sublime.  I’ve actually yet to break into the whipped soap (I have quite a backlog of bars to plow through first) although I like the frosting-like consistency of the glycerin-based blend.  And the scent?  Oof, it’s so delicious, and true to both the cuticle oil and the bar soap – the scent thankfully does not change from product to product.

Sunny's Blueberry Whipped Soap

And what of the adorable little donut-shaped bar soap?  About two days from retirement. Plans to go on a round-the-world trip with its wife once it finishes this one. final. JOB! Oh wait, sorry, think I’m getting my bath and beauty and police procedurals all mixed up.  A-gain.  But the soap *is* nearly finished.

Anyhow, if you can consider yourself to be any such thing, I was actually proud of this little donut – perched at the side of the bathroom sink, it lasted for three weeks, sudsed up nicely, moisturized well, remained scent true (and strong, such a rarity in a cold processed soap) and didn’t disintegrate into a soapy, goopy mess as it neared its final days.  Also, Sunny was kind enough to solicit requests for icing colours, so I went with the rainbow sherbet-like hues I use to decorate our apartment.

Sunny's Soap and Towel

So there we have it, another little Sunny’s order to enjoy alone AND share with friends.  I can’t wait until they get their cuticle oils – I’ve no doubt they’re going to love them, maybe enough to seek out some sweet little donuts of their own.  But no matter the recipient, this was another fantastic order from Sunny’s Body Products, and absolutely not my last.

Attack of the Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Spice Fingers Sun Super Closeup

Full confession: I used to be a proud member of the Pumpkin Spice Tribe.  Just pumpkin spice ALL the things, particularly the Starbucks lattes, which I drank by the venti boatful. Then after taking an assessment of my health and finances (and finding the results pretty dim) I pulled back considerably on my PSL obsession, to the point where I hardly ventured into a Starbucks at all.  I’m now back on neutral territory with Fall’s most ubiquitous hot beverage, in part because I now treat them as precisely that – a much-enjoyed treat. And for that my waistline, wallet and teeth have all thanked me greatly (I always say this, but Pumpkin Spice Lattes really prompt the tooth-furries, no?)

So my love of pumpkin spice as a flavour may come and go, but it will always be a wonderful inspiration for nail art, particularly when you have two beautiful holographic polishes just THE precise shades of a delicious, late autumn PSL (KB Shimmer’s Rust No One, left, and Oh My Ganache, right.)  Bonus points if you have a sweet little coffee cup charm with which to seal the deal (or the lid.)

Pumpkin Spice Polish Collage

But all is not totally lost on the edible pumpkin spice front.  I’m still pretty powerless to resist its autumnal charms, so if something comes in a pumpkin spice flavour and it doesn’t sound totally disgusting, I’m probably going to try it (perhaps take that one with a grain of salt; I am, after all, one of maybe only seven people in the world who actually liked Trident’s espresso-flavoured gum.)  And hey, look – here’s a few pumpkiny goodies now!

Pumpkin Spice Products Collage

Starting in the top left-hand corner, we have Starbucks’ instant PSL pouches.  I’m no great coffee snob, but this was just terrible.  I tossed my nearly full cup after just a few sips.  Watery – somehow, even when made with milk – and with a distinct burnt taste, this tasted nothing like a Pumpkin Spice Latte or even its non-union equivalent, the Punkin’ Spice Lah-tay.  Seriously, if your obsession has reached the point that you need something like these instant pouches to get you through the bleak, latte-less hours of the wee, wee morning, you need help.  I’m here for you.

To the right of the pumpkin poison we have pumpkin spice-enhanced 1% milk from Natrel.  This ultra light, not-too-sweet creamer is actually pretty delicious, and a nice little pumpkin spice booster for coffee, smoothies, baking or just plain old drinking.  Very nice.

Finally, along the bottom we have a half-enjoyed package of Voortman’s pumpkin spice wafer cookies.  And the package is half-done because these?  Are AWESOME.  Lightly spiced pumpkin cream sandwiched between crispy, light-as-air vanilla wafers?  Hell, YES.  And did I mention that three cookies are just 150 calories?  So a fairly reasonable little snack to satisfy that sweet pumpkin spice craving we all seem to succumb to at this time of year.

One more time for the nails because they’re kind of dope, this time in the shade.

Pumpkin Spice Fingers Shade

 

Salted Caramel Yumminess

Salted Caramel Apricot Basket

Whenever I find a scent I really like from Bath & Body Works – a bit of a rarity, but when it happens, it’s usually a love affair for life – I almost hesitate to tell other people about it, lest they run off to the store, smell its fabulousness and then snatch up every single item in the shop that smells like, say, this fantastic new Fall fragrance, Salted Caramel Apricot. But I’m generous like that, and stealth is clearly not my thing – I just told you right in that first sentence there that I love this stuff!  Although I suspect I am not alone – on a field trip today to pick up a few reinforcements (something I never, ever do – I’m a real one-and-done-er) I found just a handful of Salted Caramel Apricot products to the dozens of other Fall releases.  Bit of a bummer, that, especially this early in the season.  Also a drag in that Bath & Body Works is somewhat notorious for discontinuing fan favourites, so Salted Caramel Apricot’s apparent popularity is no assurance that it will stick around. Bottom line: If you find any bath and body products in Salted Caramel Apricot, jump on ’em (particularly if they’re subject to one of those ridiculous “Buy 6, Get 9 Free” deals.)

Salted Caramel Apricot Basket Closeup

So what does Salted Caramel Apricot smell like?  Well, to me, it smells a bit like Bath and Body Works’ stores themselves – that pleasant, unidentifiably yummy bath and beauty shop scent.  Salted Caramel Apricot is a lot more than the sum of its parts, though – it’s a little bit fruity, a little bit warm, and the honey in the products themselves lends the fragrance a mild sort of floral note that I positively love in combination with all of the above.  It actually reminds me quite a bit of a favourite discontinued shampoo, Timotei’s Honey and Chamomile; both share that sort of sweet-fruity-grassy scent profile.

Salted Caramel Apricot Products

The Salted Caramel Apricot fragrance is available only in the body care line; no candles this time around. Sometimes that’s for the best – what works well on your skin does not necessarily translate to wax.  I nabbed a potent sugar scrub, creamy body wash and luscious lotion while the going was good, although I hope to nip back soon for doubles on all of the above, and maybe one of those cute fragrance sprays as well.  Wish me luck, I may have to fight someone for it (I shouldn’t joke; I’ve never seen such a thing myself, but to paraphrase Elton John, Bath and Body Works’ Semi-Annual Sale is Alright for Fighting!)