Kaleidoscope Candy

Kaledioscope Candy 1

Cheery sprinkled nails (using Cirque’s gold glitter standard, Kaleidoscope) for this cheery Saturday morning.  Hope your weekends are kicking off most delightfully, friends! 🙂

Kaledioscope Candy 2

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On a Sunny Sunday Morn

Arty

The blogging world is such an odd, circuitous little animal sometimes.  Case in point?  This manicure was inspired by a post a blogger friend, Sketchuniverse, posted to his art blog highlighting the beautiful work of another artist and blogger from Lucy’s Coloring Book.  It’s an M.C. Escher staircase of blog post appreciation!

I’m not sure I did Lucy’s design a ton of justice (please do click on the link above to check out her colourful, whimsical work) but I do love the bright, cram-every-surface-with-something approach to art, and indeed nail art.  These are fun and summery, and just a little weird and wacky – the perfect beauty note on which to end this summer weekend.  Hope you’re having a nice one, friends. 🙂

A Bounty of Bath & Body Works

BBW Order 1

Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that at the end of last month, I failed to post my as-promised accounting of our new-and-improved actual accounting (with optional scented wax discoveries, should any delicious new scent combinations be discovered as I melt through my once giant, now dwindling collection.)  That’s because I was waiting on the delivery of something very cool and not entirely inexpensive that we were able to purchase precisely because we’ve been so very circumspect with our money this year in the first place.  It’s a financial victory, and I’d love to share it with you!  Which of course means it’s been tied up in the vagaries of both the American and Canadian postal systems now for about five weeks straight.  So perhaps next month?  I really can’t wait to share this one with you; I’m incredibly proud of us!

But as for the end of July, I’ve made outstanding progress on both abstaining from any new purchases of wax or bath and beauty items AND using up that which I’ve already bought.  This month we finally used up the final bar of soap from a large and rather ill-considered purchase I made last year, and I’m getting down to such dregs in my wax collection, I have nothing noteworthy to share with you on that front either!

And so with Bath & Body Works releasing a number of delicious-smelling scents from their upcoming Fall collection, as well as the sudden reappearance of a favourite candle scent that I thought I had missed out on earlier this year (Pink Apple Punch, a sweet, Pink Sands (I swear!) tinged blend of apples and honeydew melon) the time seemed right to place an order for some scented goodies for the first time since November 2017.  Cracking open the box felt like such an indulgence!  It reminded me that shopping can be fun again when you stop compulsively buying and start purchasing because you really need and can accommodate a thing.

I was clearly of a real mind for apples with this order, between the Pink Apple Punch candles (two of them, in the most gorgeous rose red frosted jars) and the foaming hand soaps in Pumpkin Apple (what fruity, lightly spiced, barely bakery-type sorcery is at work here?!), Afternoon Apple Picking (crisp Mac apples warmed from the sun) and Red Apples & Spice (a delicious, Christmasey-smelling blend of sweet apples and rich mulling spices.)  But seeing as the soaps were available on one of those buy-three-get-six-for-free kind of deals (joke; they were actually six for $18) I purchased three more hand soaps in Best Day (a light raspberry sorbet scent), Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte (a perennial Fall favourite) and Life is Sweet (a toasty waffle cone scent.)  Great picks, all, and I guarantee you they’ll see a lot of hand-washing action.

BBW Order 2

Next month I really hope to have something super cool to share with you, the kind of thing that will hopefully remind you (as it did for me) that if you put your mind to what seems like an unreachable financial goal, and make just a few not-so-sacrificial sacrifices to reach that goal, you can make some very good things happen. 🙂

Literary Inspiration: The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

Bazaar of Bad Dreams Collage

Stephen King has mortality on his mind in this 2015 book of short stories, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, that I read in service of my friends’ reading challenge for the theme of (no duh) short stories.  And now so do I; his creepy bleakness has a way of catching.  But I suppose I wouldn’t read King, and I certainly wouldn’t consider him my favourite author, were I opposed to being pulled into his twisted world of ordinary horrors run amok.

In this collection of short stories, some written in and around 2015 and others dating back much earlier than that, King’s preoccupied with those everyday horrors, particularly the fundamental unknowability of death.  You can tell from the bent of the stories gathered in this collection – chronic pain in The Little Green God of Agony, suicide in Herman Wouk is Still Alive and the reaper himself in Mr. Yummy, among many others – that the fallout from his 1999 car accident still weighs heavily on his mind.  References to chronic pain, illness and violent car crashes abound.

King also seems preoccupied with what I’d call everyday domestic horrors – your spouse abruptly dying while out running a mundane errand, your happy romantic partnership suffering irreparable harm, the loss of a beloved pet to accidental neglect.  Now in his early 70s, King seems more in touch with the real things that go bump in the night than ever before.

Bazaar of Bad Dreams 3

Ah, but this is still the same man who writes about rains of frogs and killer time-munching fuzzballs and psychotic action figures come to life (well, that one’s Richard Bachman) and The Bazaar of Bad Dreams is no exception to King’s screw-with-your-head approach to storytelling.  Bazaar actually kicks off with a particularly gory little monster car tale (Mile 81), before veering into something very reminiscent of Heart of Darkness (The Bone Church) and concludes with an old fashioned, super bleak end-of-times tale (Summer Thunder.)

For these nails, I drew inspiration from four of Bazaar’s stories.  I thought they’d all make decent nail art, even if they weren’t necessarily my favourites (that honour goes to Ur, an Amazon-produced tale about a Kindle e-reader from another dimension.)  Here we have, from index finger to pinkie, my one-finger versions of Dune, a story about a supernaturally prescient beach (here I have it just beginning to spell out King’s own name), Blockade Billy, a slow burn tale of murder on-the-mound, The Little Green God of Agony, the story of a man seeking to physically exorcise his chronic pain, and Premium Harmony, a quietly devastating story about an unhappy married couple arguing their lives away.  Classic King.

Bazaar of Bad Dreams 2

Londontown Looks

Lakur Nail Art 1

Closing out the week, as promised, with a couple of easy nail art looks using three of the polishes I received from Londontown, nude Cheerio, hyacinth Briolette and shimmery grey Opal.  These polishes are all so delicate-looking, I didn’t want to mess about with any design that felt too done.  As such, these manicures are very much not my usual!  But I actually love to sport the less-is-less look every now and then; it makes such a lovely change from my usual “It needs more cowbell” approach to nail art (and, indeed, life.)

Lakur Nail Art 2

Included in my nice little package of polishes and other nail care goodies was, in addition to some intoxicating-smelling cuticle oil, a bottle of Londontown’s kur protective topcoat.  I’m quite picky when it comes to my to my choice of topcoat – it’s pretty well Seche Vite or nothing (literally; I’m not sure I ever would have continued on with my first awful nail art efforts had it not been for Seche’s smoothing and soothing influence.)  But Londontown’s topcoat performed beautifully, drying quickly to a hard, glossy shine that didn’t drag on the delicate designs.  A worthy challenger to Seche for my nail art affections, absolutely, and another great product from Londontown.

Kur Topcoat

Take Me to Londontown

Londontown Collage 2

Here’s a bit of excitement in this nail blogger’s world – I was recently sent this lovely package of polishes and nail care items from Londontown, an American company with a mind for natural, botanical beauty.  Featuring a gorgeous collection of vegan, 5-free polishes (“5-free” meaning the formula is free from the five major toxins you’ll commonly find in nail polish – toluene, formaldehyde, DBF, camphor and formaldehyde resin, in case you were curious) and essential oil-infused nail care products, Londontown’s got the natural, ethically-minded mani for you.

And for me!  Times four, as I tested out a quartet of Londontown’s lakur polishes (including two new shades from their summer 2018 collection) and an assortment of wonderfully-scented nail care items.  Later on in the week I’ll have some nail art for you featuring these lovely polishes, but until then, let’s take a closer look at this unexpected manna from the manicure heavens. 🙂

Every good mani requires a healthy start and a strong finish, and Londontown has seen to that as well with their kur line of vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free nail care products.  I haven’t had much of a chance to live with the nail hardener & base coat or the protective top coat (those will both see a lot more work when I begin putting these polishes through their nail art paces) but I’ve been using the heck out of the nourishing cuticle oil, because it’s light, non-greasy and it smells fan-freakin-tastic – like an herb garden, heavy on the flowering lavender and thyme, warm from the sun.  Infused with what Londontown calls their Florium Complex, a proprietary blend of extracts and oils and other good-for-your-nails stuff, I’d purchase this great cuticle oil in a heartbeat.

Londontown Main 2

And now, on to the pretty colours!  Up first at bat we have Cheerio, a delicate, pale wash of a hue that provides tons of shine while enhancing your natural nail colour – it’s your nails, only tidier!  She don’t look like much, but these kinds of non-colour colours always prove themselves quite useful, in applications ranging from clean, chic manicures to glittery jelly sandwich nail art.  I used three coats of Cheerio for this manicure, and like all of the swatches shown here, it’s presented au naturel – no topcoat to mess up all that lovely natural gloss.

Cheerio Collage

Next up we have Briolette, one of the summer 2018 additions to the lakur polish line.  Briolette (a briolette is apparently a type of gemstone cut, like an elongated pear) is a beautiful pale lilac creme dusted with purple shimmer.  The purple shimmer is not super apparent on the nail, but it does lend Briolette a lovely sort of corona that makes this polish look like it’s glowing from within.  This is two and a smidge coats (the smidge coat representing one obstinate nail on which I always experience polish drag, and it really is such a drag.) 😉

Briolette Collage

Next we have Opal, the second of the summer 2018 polishes.  True to its name, this pale grey creme shines with ultra fine purple, pink and blue shimmer.  Opal is just a beautiful, beautiful polish, and so flattering.  The shimmer is most apparent out in the sun, but in lower lighting, that added bit of visual interest makes this polish look like stucco or plaster or some other hideously expensive wall treatment.  It also applied really well, in two light coats.

Opal Collage

Sparkle and shine!

Opal 5

Finally, we have my favourite of the four polishes, juicy, popsicle red Guilty Pleasure.  This is the perfect summertime colour – lush, bright and so, so shiny!  I’ve been wearing Guilty Pleasure for three days now – a total rarity for me, but I’m carrying out some renovations to my apartment; little time to switch out my manis when I’m wrist-deep in floor leveler – and even without a base coat or a top coat, it’s holding up admirably well, with just the barest bit of wear.  Very nice.

Guilty Pleasure Collage

As stated off the top, and because we have to do these sorts of things now, lest the Internet police come for all that sweet, sweet bloggin’ money I keep hearing so much about, Londontown very kindly sent me these items, presumably for my review and enjoyment, although they made no requests that I do either (“WE DEMAND THAT YOU LOVE THESE POLISHES!”)  So nobody’s holding a nail file to my kidneys to get me to say that I really liked these polishes, and I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase more.  Looking forward to seeing what this quartet can do in the nail art arena very soon.

Londontown Collage 1

If you’d like more information on Londontown – their business practices, their backstory – or to peruse their large collection of lakur polishes and kur nail care products, click here and tell ’em Finger Candy sent you!

Jumpsuit

Jumpsuit

I was about to wax all poetic about twenty one pilot’s searingly killer new song, Jumpsuit, and then I just decided to go with what I wrote on Instagram last night, after five days of naught but TOP jamming about my brain for as many possible hours as the people around me can stand – I’m so freakin’ in love with Jumpsuit, I want it to carry my books and take me to prom in a baby blue tuxedo.  Happiness is new any twenty one pilots music. *contented sigh*