Burger Buddies


Here’s a couple of adorable little burger charms nestled on a bed of condiment-hued colours and, if you ask me, some very suspicious-looking relish (Candy Lacquer’s Candy Cane Fiesta.)  Beware glittery foodstuffs, friends – dancing with that particular devil never ended well for anyone. 😉

It’s Beginning to Look…

Candy Cane Bottle
…not one iota like Christmas, because around my neck of the global woods at least, the snow has held off…thus far (so many ominous ellipses in this post!)  I, of course, have now damned my city to an immediate ice storm (which is no joke; the last one we had, in 1996, knocked out half the city’s power for a week.  It was actually sort of frightening.)

But snow or no snow (honestly, the snow can remain a no-go; I ain’t afraid of no green Christmas) it would seem the holiday season is now well and truly upon us, and as always, I need a matching manicure.  Here I layered what I think is my favourite polish, period, Candy Lacquer’s Candy Cane Fiesta, over what’s actually an Easter polish, Smitten Polish’s Not Your Mama’s Easter Grass, for a fun and festive look that saw me through two-thirds of the decoration of my tree, before I ran out of lights.  And patience.  And bourbon.

I’d also like to apologize for the crappy and chappy state of my mitts.  I am most allergic to my dusty, 12-year-old tree; I combat the itch only through repeated hand-washings.  Really, I think I went through about half a bottle of hand soap today alone.

Candy Cane Fingers



So it would seem that when you combine a predominately red, green and white, Christmas-themed glitter topper with delicate, pastel-hued base polishes, the resulting look is very nearly always Strawberry Shortcake. As in the doll. With snowflake glitter. Which really isn’t a problem for me, as I’ve been on the hunt for a Strawberry Shortcake-type polish for a while now, and I quite like the overall look. I had actually forgotten how much red Strawberry Shortcake has in her costume (had – today’s Strawberry Shortcake is all about the hot pink.)

I think the thing I like the most about these nails, though, is that I was able to create the look without having to buy another polish. And it’s not even necessarily that I dislike the financial outlay (although who likes parting with their money?), it’s more that I’m finding that the redundancy in my polish collection is becoming a bit of an issue. I’ve never felt the need to own 13 nearly identical turquoise polishes because this one is a shimmer and that one is a holo, but that’s precisely what’s happening, just with my favourite type of lacquer, chunky glitters. And as any nail polish aficionado will tell you, while they may be fun and beautiful, mega glitters have a somewhat limited application – it’s hard to make them look like anything other than glitter bombs (not that there’s anything wrong with that!)


So when I can find a way to combine some of my existing pretties into a gorgeous Frankenstein of a manicure, I’ll take it, which is precisely what happened with this mani, in which I layered one coat of my very favourite polish, Candy Lacquer’s Candy Cane Fiesta, over, on alternating fingers, Bonita’s pale pink Sweet Ever After and China Glaze’s pale green Re-Fresh Mint.


The A-Team

Without getting too nihilistic on you, friends who come here to see nail art but instead get lured into 1,200-word diatribes on my cats and/or The Lost Boys, 2014 was a bad, bad year. To be sure, there were some lovely, wonderful moments – new babies! an unexpectedly fun road trip! the discovery of Misfits! – but for my family at least, and a distressingly large number of my friends and acquaintances, 2014 was a year defined by loss, grief and hardships great and small. I won’t be sorry to see it go.

Okay, so 2014 sucked. But do you know what didn’t? These nail polishes! Which seems like the ultimate in ridiculous non sequiturs, but really, in a year that’s been as unpleasant as the past one, why shouldn’t we take a moment to appreciate the things that gave us a bit of joy, even those as immaterially material as silly old nail polish? No good reason that I can think of! And so I present to you this photo gallery of the polishes that rocked my world this year, a motley assortment of holos and flakies and industrially chunky glitters that prove that good things – and sometimes good, don’t-hate-the-world feelings – truly do come in small packages. 😉

Sitting atop the heap and not included in this gallery is my pick for polish of the year, Candy Lacquer’s everything-and-the-kitchen-sink glitter, Candy Cane Fiesta. I’ve expounded on its loveliness – some may say at length! – so I’ll say no more before it develops a swelled head.Blue and Green Christmas

The following nine are presented in no particular order or ranking – they’re across-the-board beautiful and so well made, I’ve found uses for them in multiple manis this year, and will continue to well into the new year. Here’s to the little lacquered things!

1. Polish Me Silly’s pink, white and blue glitter topper, Mr. Bubble.Mr. Bubble

2. Smitten Polish’s red shimmer-infused purple jelly, You Saucy Minx.You Saucy Minx

3. KB Shimmer’s Hawaiian Punch-in-a-bottle, Belle of the Mall.Sparkling Strawberry

4. KB Shimmer’s grass green glitter jelly, Get Clover It.Get Clover It

5. Orly’s silver holo of the year, Mirrorball.Mirrorball

6. Dance Legend’s cobalt blue jelly flakie, Sun Still Sleeps.Sun Still Sleeps

7. Candy Lacquer’s super fruity matte glitter, Citrus Smoothie.Citrus Smoothie

8. KB Shimmer’s Frozen-in-a-bottle, Snow Much Fun.Snow Much Fun

9. Polish Me Silly’s pink-to-gold-to-green chrome flakie, Stop Flaking on Me.Stop Flaking on Me

Polish Me Silly’s polishes are available through their Etsy shop. You can find KB Shimmer’s wares through their own site if you’re an American customer, or through Harlow & Co.’s site if you’re an international customer. Smitten Polish’s goods are available through their Big Cartel site, as are Candy Lacquer‘s. Orly polishes are available at brick and mortar Sally Beauty Supply shops, as well as their website. Finally, Dance Legend polishes are best and most reliably acquired through international stocklist Llarowe’s website.

We’re Having a Fiesta!

Candy Cane Fiesta Collage WatermarkedAs we barrel towards Christmas and the upcoming new year, you’re going to be seeing a lot of best-of lists and retrospectives on 2014’s top this, that and the other thing. I always enjoy sifting through end-of-the-year wrap-ups – there’s a little something for everyone, and it’s a great opportunity, particularly in the world of nail polish and nail art, to shore up your loves (and sometimes loathes) with other like-minded bloggers, writers and reviewers to see where there’s overlap (who didn’t love holos this year?) and where you’re clearly ahead of the curve (chunky, pea green glitter? Really?)

So I thought I’d add my two cents to the discussion with this ode to my favourite polish of 2014, Candy Lacquer’s mega glitter bomb, Candy Cane Fiesta. The name alone may scream “Christmas!”, to say nothing of the predominately red, green and white mix of mostly matte glitters, a reputation only enhanced by the little baggie of snowflake, candy cane and Christmas tree glitter Candy Lacquer provides alongside the polish, but Candy Cane Fiesta is one of those rare, festively-themed nail polishes that has proven to be a real chameleon, displaying tons of utility well beyond the holiday season.

Here I’ve shown four manicures featuring Candy Cane Fiesta, a Christmas-in-the-tropics gradient, sticky, drippy fruitcake nails, Santa’s Orlando retirement nails and one of my favourite manis of the past year, a simple glitter-on-creme manicure that looks like strawberry ice cream with sprinkles! And we all know how I feel about sprinkles around here (sprinkles, yes; funfetti, NOOOOO.)

I just love the stuff, and I’m pleased as punch that I finally bought it (it was one of those ones I was weirdly on the fence about.) The mix of glitters is fantastic (every shape and size imaginable), the colours are vibrant and fresh (red, green and white, yes, but holo red, matte tomato, lime green and iridescent white, too) and the consistency is fabulous (loaded, but not dry or unwieldy.) What’s there not to love?

Their shop is now closed for the holiday season, but in the new year if you’d like to get in on this little love fest, you can find Candy Lacquer’s offerings here.

I’ll Have a Blue (and Green) Christmas

Blue and Green ChristmasMy neck of the global woods is quite abundant in snow, and so I often forget that there are whole swaths of this green and verdant earth that see nothing but a green and verdant Christmas, missing out (?) on the twinkling, frost-covered majesty of a cold winter’s morn that I can tell you from SO much experience is impressive only for about five minutes before you realize you actually have to try and get stuff done in weather that makes it kind of hard to breathe and has glued your eyelashes to your cheeks. Habit alone (six months of snow a year is just about all I know) suggests I’d miss it were I to celebrate next Christmas at, say, Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where the coldest it gets is sweater weather, but there’s quite a good argument to be made for a green Christmas (and I don’t mean the kind where it doesn’t snow in Ontario around the holidays either, because that’s just depressing.)

These fresh and festive gradient nails take colour inspiration from warmer climes during these holiday times, and features my favourite polish of 2014, Candy Lacquer’s Candy Cane Fiesta. For a holiday-themed polish packed with green, red and white glitter, it is amazingly versatile and has seen action in more than a few Finger Candy manis this year. In this manicure, I particularly love how the blue polish and smattering of yellow glitter offsets the more traditional Christmas colours, lending these nails a sort of rainbow look, with snowflakes (and some glitter placement on my thumb – oh, that it came out so artistically in the first place, right?)

I Don’t Give a Damn About My Bad Reputation

FruitcakeFruitcake gets such a bad rap, yeah? I mean, it’s not that I don’t know why. If you were to assume that all fruitcake is related to those 10-pound bricks of goop-covered, peel-infested door stoppers they sell at the grocery store, you’d think ill of fruitcake, too. But real fruitcake, like my family’s recipe that combines super buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cake with sliced almonds, dried fruit you actually want to eat (seriously, you’re eating turnip! PEEL! IS! TURNIP!) and num yummy maraschino cherries? How on earth could that be a bad thing? Only if you eat two loaf pans’ of the stuff over the course of about an hour, which I have absolutely never done only twice in my life. Oh hey, look at that thing behind you! *scampers away in shame, probably to eat more fruitcake.*

But as much as I love my family’s fruitcake recipe, these festive nails – my first mani of the holiday season, actually – are inspired by one of my favourite glitter toppers, Candy Lacquer’s Candy Cane Fiesta. I’ve used Candy Cane Fiesta in a quite a few manicures, and it’s proven to be remarkably versatile (I never thought I’d find a use for a Christmas polish in either berry or beachy nail art, but here we are!) but for these scrumptious looking nails, I went the full fruitcake, embracing the festive flair of Candy Cane Fiesta and emerging the other side with nails that look yummy enough to eat (or certainly yummier and more edible than the stuff they sell at the grocery store!)

Strawberry Fruitcake

Strawberry FruitcakeMy favourite everything-AND-the-kitchen-sink glitter, Candy Lacquer’s Candy Cane Fiesta, meets my bestest background polish, Serum No. 5’s Awesome Blossom, in this super fruity manicure that – Christmas-themed polish notwithstanding – totally reminds me of Strawberry Shortcake. Miss Shortcake’s cousin from Christmastown, perhaps, Strawberry Fruitcake? So gimme a call, Tim Burton, if you’d like to collaborate on a foodie-themed sequel to The Nightmare Before Christmas, because I’ve got at least a jumping-off point here. 🙂

Santa’s Retirement (31DC2014)

CandyCaneFiesta BottleI bought this polish, Candy Cane Fiesta from Candy Lacquer, a while ago and have been holding it in reserve in anticipation of today’s challenge theme of glitter in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge. It’s THE BESTEST stuff, and weirdly reminiscent of the decor at a mini golf course in Disney World where it’s themed to look like Santa’s retired to Orlando in his off months to hang out with Mrs. Claus and the reindeers at the beach. In fact, quite a bit of Candy Lacquer’s limited edition Christmas in July collection reminds me of that mini putt course in which you can take two different runs, one through a traditionally festive-looking snow scape and another through Santa’s beachside retirement community for swinging North Pole retirees. Either way, the one time I visited, it was so much fun (and difficult; this was no slouch of a mini golf course) and being Disney, perfectly themed to within an inch of its life.

So when this polish showed up in a recent order of nail mail positively brimming with Christmasey fun (and Mickey head glitter!) I knew I’d have to put it to good use in a manicure for the prompt I’ve been looking forward to tackling the most, glitter! Here, continuing on with the theme of snowbird Santa, I topped a beachy-looking gradient with one coat of Candy Cane Fiesta, pushing some of the hearts, stars, moons, squares, diamonds, snowflakes and candy canes (phew!) around so there were no bare patches, before adding a Mickeyfied accent nail made up of some of the oversized glitters Candy Lacquer provided alongside the polish in a wee little baggie. The end result is a weird, out of season, vaguely messy configuration of glitter, colours and concepts that I just love. Indeed, they might be my favourite nails of this challenge…so far. 😉CandyCaneFiesta Hand