Regal-ize It

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It has been an absolute donkey’s age since I’ve purchased a treat for myself (been lean this spring and summer as we recover from all this reno business) and even longer since that treat was nail polish.  I think the last new shades I purchased were these Polished For Days lovelies in April of 2018.

But in the aftermath of the renos, I binned a ton of cruddy, dried-out old polishes, some duds I never quite found a use for, but also a few discontinued favourites that simply couldn’t be salvaged.  The kind of glitter-intensive polishes I favour don’t hold up very well to the rigors of time and use (and BOY, have I used the heck out of those polishes!)  I was sad to see them go, but excited to re-organize my polish collection in this sweet little rolling cart my mom nabbed from IKEA.

Rolling Cart Collage

Anyhow, it was time to call in some reinforcements on a couple of fallen comrades (been watching Stranger Things much?), so I placed an order with Kitchener company Harlow & Co. for a trio of KB Shimmer polishes, including this indigo blue stunner, Regal-ize It.

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Pretty, isn’t she?  This polish is Finger Candy catnip, from the lush jelly base, to the rich violet hue, to the smattering of golden holographic glitter that glimmers within its squishy, jewel-toned depths.  Brings out in the romantic in me, too 😉  I also just like KB Shimmer polishes.  They’re of really great quality (I tossed just one KB in The Great De-Polishing, and that’s because it was five years old and a dried-out quarter full) and they’re always trying something just a little bit different.  Which includes an update to their branding and packaging.

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Regal-ize it is just lovely, and a lot more subtle than I was expecting from a golden glitter-studded purple jelly polish.  A bit of a chameleon, too, changing from a clear, indigo blue to a velvety purple depending on the lighting conditions and the time of day.  So more bang for your buck, and another winner from KB for me. 🙂  Looking forward to sharing the other two with you soon.

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Bowverkill: The Reckoning

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Last year I titled a post, featuring a bow-centric manicure, Bowverkill!, thinking I had achieved maximum bowage per nail.  Turns out there’s always more room for bows, as this manicure certainly bears out.  Here I used a sweet, summery polish from Delush, 50 Shades of Yay, topped with OPI’s matte topcoat for a frosted, almost candied sort of look.  Plus bows!  So many little bows. 🙂

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Summer Swirl

Summer Swirls Collage

Sounds like a type of ice cream, doesn’t it?  LOOKS like a type of ice cream, maybe one of those lurid, multi-hued, bubblegum-studded monstrosities that goes by the name SuperKiddo or Diabetes in a Cone. 😉

Alas – or perhaps not, depending on your views on Red Food Dye No. 3 – this is a manicure and not ice cream.  Bit of a bummer, that, as I hear it’s supposed to be hotter than the surface of the sun today, and ice cream *could* help.  So could sitting two inches off the air conditioner.

This manicure looks so much more impressive and difficult than it actually was to achieve.  Looks like one of those horrible – and horribly messy – water marble manis that has bested me time and time again, but not!  Because these are little nail decals I made to mimic the look of a water marble, and they were dead easy.  All I did was dab five polishes (turquoise, yellow, magenta, pink and a shimmery, golden green) out onto the back of a Ziploc bag, ran a dotting tool through them to create the swirled design (you could use a toothpick or a hair pin or the head of a sewing needle, should you not have a dotting tool) and then let it dry overnight.

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And I may have let them dry a tad too long, because the most difficult part of this manicure was prizing those little decals-to-be off the plastic bag, a nitpicky job I outsourced to Mr. Finger Candy.  I think I may have made the decals a tad too thin and let them dry too long – the whole removal process would have gone much easier if the decals were a little less brittle and a bit more pliable.  Notes for next time.

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Application itself was likewise easy.  All I did was give my nails one light coat of one of the polishes I used to make the decals, in this case the vibrant magenta.  Then, going nail by nail, I painted on another light coat of the magenta polish before immediately laying one of the decals over top of it.  I pushed the decals down gently with my fingers, making sure to really nestle them into the edges of my nails.  I used the blunt edge of a cuticle pusher to do this, but again, you could use the slanted side of a toothpick or even your thumbnail.  Then I roughly trimmed off the excess by simply – but lightly and carefully! – running the pointed end of my cuticle pusher along the edges of my nails to separate out the waste.  When all of my nails were done, I applied two coats of a diamond hard, high shine topcoat – Seche Vite to the rescue once again – and then cleaned up the raggedy bits along my cuticles with a detail brush dipped in acetone.

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I love these nails!  And this technique is one I will definitely be turning to again; it is soooo much easier and tidier than water marbing, and produces nearly identical results. Plus, check out these amazing macro shots I snapped.  I think the one on the left looks like some sort of insane, alchemy-based fire, and the one on the right looks like bubblegum taffy in the midst of being pulled.

Summer Swirls Macro Collage

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A blogging buddy of mine, altercontroldelight, does a very similar kind of technique, except she really knows what she’s doing – she’s got a whole system that involves making the decals on a silicone mat, which makes SOOOO much more sense than trying to prize the delicate little buggers off the back of a plastic bag, duh!  She’s also a fan of unexpected colour combinations and cool, fluid designs, and I’m a fan of that.  Again, another note for next time. 😉

Those Summer Nights

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These nails are very 1980s inspired, no?  Must be all that Stranger Things I, and everyone else with a television, have been watching (40 mil viewers, Netflix, really?!)  Actually, the reason this manicure is so rad is because it was inspired by the 1980s-themed event my husband’s been playing in Rocket League, an RC car-meets-goal…sports…game?  All I know is I’m rather confused, and yet delighted, when I watch him motor a small replica Ecto 1 with striped sunset wheels down an underwater arena playing field in order to bury a hockey puck in a net that will explode in Michael Bay-worthy pyrotechnics.  Now, THAT’S a video game!

Also, yes, totally the inspiration for these nails, which I did using a quintet of Enchanted Polish holographics, including House of the Rising Sun (yellow), Desert Sunset (orange), Dope Jam (pink), and two mystery polishes from 2015, November (magenta) and January (dark purple.)  Extra super pretty as against the actual sunset this warm – SO warm – summer night.

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Suit Up

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This striping tape-assisted manicure reminds me of pinstriped suiting fabric, set on a slant and shot through with holographic rainbows.  So a textile perhaps for the very confident gentleman?  Or no man whatsoever right now, since the summer weather is hot as balls, and I pity the guy who has to wear a suit in this.

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Speaking of balls, this favourite Colour Club holo has a fun name – Crystal Baller.  But owing to its hue, I just look at it and think it should be called Blue Baller.  Because I am a pervert and deeply juvenile. 😉  But it’s ever so pretty, is it not?  One of those polishes I always reach for when the sun is out at full blast, and boy howdy, is it ever.  Stay made in the shade, pretty peeps.

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The Colour of Imagination

MegaJello Shot Collage

That’s what our Disney overlords have deemed this bright, sparkly pink, here shown as ILNP’s squishy, summery polish, Jello Shot.  In its never-ending quest to siphon allllll of the money out of your wallet, Disney periodically declares X, Y and Z colours to be the hottest, trendiest hues to grace a pair of glittery Mickey ears.  This year the Mouse is stumping hard for this Imagination Pink shade, as well as a silver holographic hue they’re calling Magic Mirror Metallic, here shown as another ILNP polish, this time gonzo rainbow-thrower, Mega.

Jello ShotMega Collage 2

I love both of these hues – is there anything more spectacular than the midday Florida sun cresting the spires of Cinderella Castle and alighting on a beautiful pair of Mickey ears? – and while I’m well down with the inspiration behind the silver holo, I’m less sure about the Imagination Pink, because the name, well, stinks.  Like, what precisely IS the colour of imagination?  How does Disney know it’s pink?  What if it’s, like, sludge brown?  Why is it not orange or purple, the colours of Figment the IMAGINATION Dragon at Epcot?  Dude’s got an entire ride called Journey Into Imagination with Figment – as in “a figment of your.”  Is it really necessary to start assigning other hues to as nebulous a concept as imagination?

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Anyhow, I think Disney missed the mark with this one, which of course means it’ll be the most wildly popular colour release in ever, and two years from now when our entire world is awash in various shades of hot pink, I’ll bow and grovel before our Imagination Pink overlords.  Until then, at least I know my nails are on point. 😉