Actual conversation I had with myself regarding this manicure at its completion:
“Huh, this is pretty. Looks a bit dotted and hazy in that Monet sort of way. *snort* – Maybe a fake Monet sort of way. Faux Monet. Ohmihgod, FAUXNET!” Then I nearly upended the coffee table trying to dash out of the room and write this bit of inspired humour down. 😉
But no, actually, with all respect to Miss Cher Horowitz, I don’t think this manicure is a full-on Monet – contrary to her definition, I think it looks good both up close and at a distance.
As with nearly all good things, this look was achieved in a purely accidental manner. I was actually going for a smoosh mani here. That’s a super easy nail art technique where you dab a few polishes onto a bit of crinkled up plastic wrap and then dab it onto your nails. It gives you this mottled sort of look that apparently, depending on the polishes you use, makes your nails look like mini Impressionist paintings. I actually did a manicure some weeks ago using this technique, just in much bolder colours. It was very pop art.
And that’s the great thing about this dead easy nail art technique – all you have to do is switch up the polishes and you have an entirely new look. I love this very The Artist’s Garden-inspired (okay, okay, accidentally inspired) bit of nail art; it’s a very pretty look to wear into the end of another warm summer week.
My friend WonderfulWolf did some very cool geode-type nails today, which in turn inspired me to rock out with my mani out – emphasis on the “rock.” 😉 This pretty and ever so simple marbled manicure makes great use of the cling wrap technique, to which I added fine gold filaments, like precious, glittering gems trapped in the stone. Rock on!
You’ll have to forgive the overly florid and descriptive title of this post; I recently received an order of delicious-smelling wax melts (those little tarts you melt in a burner) and they’ve all got adorable – but needlessly complicated and overly descriptive – names like Applemuffin Wildberry Crunchie Pie and Choco-Mallow Streusel Cookie Bites. All right, so those might be wee exaggerations, but I’m pretty sure I actually do have a tart that’s called Rainbow Sprinkle Cotton Candy Fluff, which is precisely what these nails remind me of – rainbow sprinkle-dusted cotton candy.
For these fun, neon-speckled nails, I topped a cling wrap manicure of Sally Hansen’s Xtreme Wear in Breezy Blue and Bubblegum Pink with two coats of Polish Me Silly’s Freckles, a rainbow glitter topper that is my go-to for any manicure I want to look sprinkled. Mmm, sprinkles…
I know 1980s-influenced fashion is having a real moment (leggings, how you are the bane of my existence) but speaking as yet another weary OLD who lived through that particular decade’s unflattering sartorial excesses, it is a flirtation that ought to be cut off before it can turn into something more. Seriously, guys, Spandex bike shorts that made the slim look gangly and knock-kneed and anyone carrying even an extra pound like the Michelin Man. These weird plastic combs we called banana clips that gave you a lopsided, limp kind of mohawk and would invariably yank out chunks of your hair. Stirrup pants. Oh, it was an unkind time. Then again, I was a totally fashion-challenged kid in the ’80s; nothing like the mini fashionistas who strut around now, intimidating me with their bitchin’ style at three and a half years old.
I don’t do a whole lot of modern, geographic, ’80s-inspired nail art, so what better way to fill that small blank spot in my portfolio than by tackling week one’s theme of the 1980s in May’s N.A.I.L. Challenge? For this manicure, I went with an every-nail-for-itself approach, highlighting five iconic looks of the not-so-fashionable ’80s, from acid wash jeans and the rainbow heart print sweater every girl wanted, to the aforementioned striped bike shorts and Ralph Lauren men’s button-downs.
Oh, and those things on my index finger? Safety pins. For a blessedly short amount of time in junior high, it was all the rage to squeeze into your already breath-inhibiting jeans and then, cranking whatever inseam actually existed together, pin your pants, one atop another, until you reached your knees or higher, if you dared sacrifice the tender flesh to multiple puncture wounds. In hindsight, with the safety pins and the inherent risk of injury and all, it was actually a pretty punk rock look, but hella impractical!
So with week one over and done, let’s take a look at what else the fine ladies of N.A.I.L. have in store for us this May.
Like any good theme park nerd drawn to the darker side of Disney, my second favourite ride behind the Haunted Mansion is, of course, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The Tower of Terror is a drop-style ride and the type of attraction that typically doesn’t set my bells a-chiming (you go up, you go down, boring, boring, boring), but what I love about the Tower is its exquisitely creepy set design and theming. As the story goes, on the evening of October 31st, 1939 “five people stepped through the door of an elevator and into a nightmare,” mysteriously disappearing from the Hollywood Tower Hotel without a trace…but for those persistently frequent corridor hauntings. The hotel, long since abandoned, has reopened its doors – elevator doors included – and “that door is opening once again, and this time, it’s opening for you.” Rod Serling then creeps you out a bit and you stand in a hopefully not-too-long line in a boiler room and then you board a freight elevator straight to the Twilight Zone, and it’s all awesome. The ride itself is actually pretty cool – it’s randomized, so every ride is a little bit different than the one that came before it – but the attention to detail (dusty room keys hanging behind the check-in desk, letters that have fallen off the event board that spell out “EVIL TOWER U R DOOMED,” ultra eerie jazz music drifting throughout the lobby) is what really sets the Tower of Terror apart from other thrill rides of its ilk. As always, it’s the journey, not the destination.
For these nails inspired by the Tower and day 29’s theme of supernatural in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge, I very carefully painted a version of the hotel’s flickering sign over top of its lightning-blasted facade, an effect I achieved by using the cling wrap technique and painting on a few ultra fine “cracked stucco” lines. Much like the Haunted Mansion portrait nails I did yesterday, I’m hella proud of the detail work I did on this manicure, even if my teeny nails couldn’t quite accommodate the whole of the hotel’s sign (which is based on the Tower’s Florida facade, a far superior building to its sister rides in California, Tokyo and Paris. Just my totally biased opinion!)
I think these nails, my first attempt at a cling wrap manicure (brush on two different colours of polish and smush together with plastic wrap, basically) look like cotton candy speckled with sprinkles. The next time I try this technique I think I’ll go with two more opposing colours; the baby blue-on-pink I have going on here is delicate and lovely, but the Venetian plaster-like effect gets a bit lost amongst all that polished pale.