Galaxy Quest

Galaxy 1

Not the movie, although I’ll confess to finding it much more tolerable on recent viewings. It’s just one of those movies – very much like Men in Black – that has never really appealed to me.  Anything that has to do with space stuff, actually, particularly the two Stars, Wars and Trek.

But enough about the holes in my pop culture sci fi knowledge, and on to the sci fi nails. Thankfully, one area I no longer seem to be struggling in quite so badly any more are my galaxy nail designs.  Galaxy nails have never really been my thing, because I seem unable to pull off a delicate star design.  But with a little assistance – okay, a lot of assistance – from my secret weapon for creating the perfect starry lacquered sky, CND Vinylux’s Dazzling Dance, this dusky mani turned out quite beautifully.  Quest fulfilled!

Galaxy Sun

And a small shout-out as well to the obstinate little water droplet clinging to my index finger, which lasted through 80 some-odd photos and completely dodged my attention until, well, now. Nicely done, water droplet!

Also, this manicure matches the leggings I’m currently wearing.  I’ll leave you to decide if that was intentional or not. 😉

Galaxy Leggings

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Sandra’s Secret Midnight Garden

Secret Midnight Garden Fingers

Lots of literary references in that title.  Show of hands if you, too, took two years’ of post-secondary children’s literature (the exact same course two years in a row, actually; it was a pre-taped class offered through my university’s remote education program, “remote” translating to forgetting to watch any of the classes throughout the semester and then having to furiously cram 60 watchable hours of class time into the three days before the final exam.  In related news, I think we may have hit on the reason I had to take the class twice, yes?) 😉

For this manicure, I gathered inspiration from two beloved works of children’s literature, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden and Philippa Pearce’s Tom’s Midnight Garden.  Just not beloved by me; as I recall, I didn’t read either (hitting on reason number two I had to re-take the class, although in my defence, when your course list includes 30 some-odd texts, you actually can pick or choose.  It’s also how I avoided Watership Down, because that book is wretched and upsetting.)

For these Garden-centric nails, I combined both the Midnight and the Secret, topping CND Vinylux’s Dazzling Dance, a sheer, purple-tinged topper speckled with fine holographic glitter, with Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s Secret Garden, a predominately green glitter studded with tiny fuchsia hexes.  And because no Secret or Midnight Garden (no matter who it belongs to, me or that punk, Tom) would be complete without at least a tiny sliver of moon, I added one of those, too, in the form of a tiny gold nail charm from Daily Charme.

And for those of you who may like some closure on whether I did or did not eventually end up passing the class, yes, I did – second time was the ticket.  And just to annoy you even further, I’ll also note that I didn’t fail the class the first time I took it.  I just didn’t like the grade I received.  I won’t tell you what that grade was, because it was decent by most standards and you’ll think me bananas, but I was a pretty high-strung J-school student (weren’t we all?) and anything less than the best…was a felony (*ba-dum ching!*)  Okay, okay, I’ll see myself out now. 😉

Midnight Secret Garden Bottle

Stars at Twilight

Twilight Stars Fingers

Coming at you this bright and beautiful morn with a manicure inspired by last night’s ice chip stars.  After an abnormally temperate start to the winter (three weeks ago temperatures were in the plus double digits; one day I did some tidying up on my balcony in a t-shirt), the weather has reverted to normal.  Unfortunately, normal is -25 degrees, and that’s just lousy.

But there’s something about these positively frosty days (and nights) that adds such a beautiful shimmer to the world.  Last night as I was driving along a dark, country road-type stretch of tree-lined blacktop, I couldn’t help but marvel at just how quiet and peaceful and beautiful everything was – the delicately snow-dusted trees, the still, frosty air and the gorgeous ice chip stars.  So as I tend to do when I’m inspired by anything, I decided to paint those stars on my nails.

I’m notorious crap at drawing stars, however, so those of last night’s variety – tiny, delicate pinpricks of shimmering light – were never going to happen by my hand.  Thankfully, I’ve got a polish I like to refer to as “night sky in a bottle” (CND Vinylux in Dazzling Dance) and it saved the day, adding those tiny, icy pinpoints of light to this super subtle gradient (and the less subtle purple stars) for a beautiful, stars-at-twilight type of effect.

Get Sprunged

Lullaby HandThat would be a directive I’m sending out to yesterday’s first day of Spring: You’ve sprunged. Or you were supposed to have sprung. Yesterday. You know, yesterday when it was crapping icy precipitation all over my city in frighteningly frosty minus temperatures? Yeah, that Spring. The same one that also failed to materialize today (-20?!) So it’d be super swell, Spring, if you could work some magic and just do your thing already, because I’m well and truly done with this winter nonsense.

To hasten along the springing, I came up with this sweet pastel mani that features two of my favourite polishes, Pure Ice’s grape soda-hued Playful Purple and CND’s Vinylux holo shimmer in Dazzling Dance, and a not-so-favourite, Cirque’s pastel glitter topper in Lullaby. I say “not-so-favourite,” because for everything that Lullaby has going for it – a perfectly pale mix of hexes, squares and stars in a fine eggshell finish, and all of it in that flawless Cirque formulation – it somehow looks good next to absolutely NOTHING. I’ve layered Lullaby over quite a few different colours (black, turquoise, cherry pink, lilac, green and now purple), but no matter the pairing, the soft, delicate little bits of glitter almost seem to absorb the base colour, blending into the background in a way that runs at complete cross purposes to its function as a glitter topper. Layered over white it pretty well disappears altogether.

I think Lullaby has fared pretty well here over a mid-toned purple, particularly one boosted by a bit of pink shimmer (Dazzling Dance working its purpley-blue magic, which reads as hot pink when you layer it over purple!) That should buy it a bit of a reprieve from being sent off to a better, more loving (or at least less judgmental) home.Lullaby Bottle

Dazzling Dance

Dazzling Dance Collage WatermarkedThis beautiful, sparkling topcoat, CND’s Vinylux in Dazzling Dance, is the first polish I’ve bought from CND, and I’m super pleased to report that it won’t be the last. My bank account is less pleased! A true topcoat, Dazzling Dance is an ultra sheer base of shimmery, purple-leaning blue shot through with microscopic holographic glitter. The blue base is sheer enough that it lends whatever polish you layer it over – in this case OPI’s deep purple, Do You Have This Color in Stock-holm? – a subtle, duochrome-like effect that beautifully enhances the base colour as opposed to changing or obscuring it. I particularly like the way the tiny holographic sparkles shine in lower lighting, giving this polish a really nice hit of visual interest and a look not unlike that of the first stars in the sky at dusk.Dazzling Dance

One small note: The girl at the store where I purchased Dazzling Dance was pretty adamant that it would “never set” unless I purchased a special CND topcoat to go along with it. I wasn’t going to argue with her about it, but *I* was fairly certain that she was thinking of CND’s line of Shellac polishes, which are part of a gel-based system that naturally requires all sorts of special, gel-only items. I think the confusion might have sprung from the fact that CND typically releases their collections in identical colours in both their Vinylux and Shellac formats (although I believe the three-piece collection Dazzling Dance belongs to, 2014’s Gilded Dream Collection, is limited to the Vinylux line only.) So if you’re told the same and if you’re less than enamoured with the thought of having to buy specific, proprietary nail care items to get one bottle of polish up and running, rest assured, Dazzling Dance is a pretty special polish that requires nothing more special than a regular old topcoat. Knowledge is power at the store, yo.Do You Have This Color in Stock-holm? and Dazzling Dance