It’s Electrifying

WHAT is this, an actual blog post about – *gasp!* – nail polish?! How could it be?

Okay, so quick bit of real talk to not remotely explain away my months’ long absence, and that is that the world has me way down. I probably don’t need to elaborate; life is difficult on about 87 different fronts, and I know I’m far, far from the only one feeling the pinch.

So I regrettably haven’t felt much like blogging. Moreover, I haven’t had much to blog about from a nail art perspective – the only manicure I’ve sported this spring, summer and fall is a dirt-encrusted gardening mani, and the last time I bought nail polish was…oh wow, last year.

So I recently rectified that very serious error and snapped up a few treats for myself during Polish Pickup‘s September release, because the fun doesn’t totally need to stop, does it?

Here’s the first polish I, uh, picked up, Different Dimension’s flakie-loaded It’s Electrifying. This is a magnetic polish, one of two I purchased, and pretty though it is, I’m not totally sold. Not actually sure I’m totally sold on magnetic polishes, period, though I’ve had better luck running a magnet over solid colour polishes, as opposed to these more glitter-laden lacquers.  Magnetic polishes (are supposed to) work thusly: Paint on a coat or two of a dark, solid colour creme such as black.  Brush on one thin coat of the magnetic polish and let dry.  Then, working one finger at a time, brush on another coat of the polish, before holding a small magnet just off the surface of your nail for about 25 to 30 seconds.

Nail art magnets are available in different strengths, and produce a wide variety of looks, from hash marks, to chevrons, to cats’ eye.  But the cool effects tend to get lost when there’s this much stuff in the polish.  Still, It’s Electrifying is so, so pretty and nicely colour-shifty, and I won’t pretend that it hasn’t been nice to finally treat myself to a little bit of frivolous fun. 🙂

Can’t Talk, Stranger Things

Stranger Things 4

Here’s another Stranger Things-inspired mani to add to…oh wow, six other manicures I’ve done in honour of my favourite television show.  You’re living under a rock if you don’t know that season 3 of the hit Netflix show just dropped, which is really where I should be if I want to avoid spoilers.  So not only can I NOT talk, because I am busy watching season 3 – just two episodes in; I really want to parcel them out this season instead of just gulping them back – but I literally CANNOT talk, because I can’t talk to anyone until I’ve finished watching it and/or they’ve also watched it so we can (not) talk about it together.

Stranger Things 3

This super simple, striping tape-enabled mani reminds me of Stranger Things’ opening credit graphics, which are NOT simple – that’s why I did this inspired-by manicure instead of attempting to do the title lettering.  No way was that one going to turn out on my tiny nails!

For this manicure, I used a base coat of Different Dimension’s cherry red holo, Naughty, under a bit of artfully arranged striping tape and two coats of Lilypad Lacquer’s black holo, Rainbows in Space.  This is one of those manicures that I actually prefer in the shade, but you can’t deny that bonkers holo effect out in the sun, even if technically, it’s nothing the Upside Down ever sees.

Stranger Things 1

Fallish Polish

Fallish Polish Collage

Hello there, friends, just kicking off the work week with a handful of autumn-appropriate polishes, holos tout and perfect for all of your Fall manicure needs.  Let’s take a closer peek at these leafy-looking lovelies, shall we?

Fall 1

It’s the incredibly rare tree whose leaves turn this devastatingly sexy shade of candy apple red – possibly a sumac, they’re utterly gorgeous at this time of year.  This is Different Dimension‘s Naughty, a beautiful Christmas polish that I think does double duty as a classic Fall hue (possibly even triple duty if you factor in Valentine’s Day!)

Next up, we have one of my favourite polishes, period, no matter the time of year, KB Shimmer‘s perfectly pumpkiny Rust No One.  The holo effect with this one is quite pronounced, and I love that bright purple flash running up the center of the bottle – it makes Rust No One look like about three differently hued polishes all at once.

In third place, we have the only yellow holo I own, which of course means it always shows up in round-up posts, even though I’m really not that fond of it because while it’s quite beautiful in the sun, it looks like metallic urine in lower lighting conditions, which is rather unfortunate, and wow, that was one heck of a run-on sentence.  Oh, sorry, this is Enchanted Polish‘s House of the Rising Sun. 😉

Next up we have another one of my favourite polishes, Enchanted Polish’s Lost Boy.  This megawatt super stainer (for all that’s good and not dyed lurid, neon yellow, use this polish with two, even three layers of base coat) doesn’t look like very many leaves at this time of year (they’ve really lost this kind of vivid, fresh green) but there’s still a few clinging to their hues of brighter, sunnier days.

Second from last we have KB Shimmer’s Men Are From Mars-ala, a rich, reddish brown holo that looks like so many wonderful things in the Fall – crunchy leaves, scrumptious baked goods, the final inch of a delicious pumpkin spice latte.  It also looks like the entirety of 1990s beauty in a bottle (brown, kids, there was SO. MUCH. BROWN.)

Finally, we have yet another KB Shimmer polish, brownie-hued Oh My Ganache!  Mmm, brownies…also the raggedy edges of crispy, crunchy leaves.

Rainbow Blaster

Rainbow Holo Collage 1

Kicking off the penultimate day of the work week with this colourful assortment of holographic polishes culled from my collection of “Why don’t I wear this more often?” lacquers.  Okay, sure, fun, but why?  Well, because the end of the week is dawning overcast and grumpy and I think we could all use something to cheer us up as we head into the weekend.  Also, do I not own all of these beautiful polishes precisely so I can actually wear them?  Fat load of good they do sitting in storage, waiting for that perfect nail art inspiration – why not simply because it’s a day ending in Y?  Yes, why not indeed!  So let’s take a closer look at some of my favourite holographic polishes across the entire rainbow spectrum, shall we?

Rainbow Collage 3 Red

Starting off with my favourite, we have Different Dimension’s luscious red Naughty.  Most red lacquers – particularly holos, of which there are actually precious few – tend to err toward the vampy side of the beauty spectrum.  But Naughty is the most perfect shade of clear, candy apple red.  It’s polish perfection.

Rainbow Holo Collage 4 Orange

Next up we have KB Shimmer’s orange Rust No One.  This polish is a real chameleon, flashing between a deep, rusty peach, a warm pumpkin and a vibrant tangerine with each shift of your hand.  And apparently I might be in the mood for a a big old lunchtime fruit plate? 😉

Rainbow Holo Collage 5 Yellow

Following orange we have Enchanted Polish’s yellow House of the Rising Sun.  I actually wouldn’t call House one of my favourite polishes; it’s here because it’s the only yellow holo I own!  I don’t care for this polish in the shade – it contains a weird silvery shimmer that tints the entire bottle a sickly shade of yellow-green urine.  Yeah, I know, super attractive!  But under direct light, it’s a lot closer to its namesake – like the first warm rays of light to burn across the sky on a hot summer day.  I’d even call it beautiful.  But heaven help you if the sun goes behind a cloud, it’s just Pee City.

Rainbow Holo Collage 6 Green

Next up we have another favourite of the favourites, Enchanted Polish’s grass green Lost Boy.  This lacquer is so, so beautiful – look at that bonkers holo effect! – but oof, she STAINS.  Vibrant, dark green polishes nearly always do, and Lost Boy is no exception.  Always brush on a layer or two of a high quality base coat when painting your nails with a green polish, lest you spend the next four months running around with talons tinted the exact same shade as that aforementioned urine. 😦

Rainbow Holo Collage 7 Turquoise

This polish, A England’s turquoise Whispering Waves, feels like an addition I made to the already well-established rainbow structure, but I just couldn’t leave it out.  It may be caught somewhere between blue and green (and a little bit of purple as well, I see) but there’s space enough for it between the two.  This polish is such a stunner and, again, with its blue-green hue, quite the stainer.  Base coat ‘er up.

Rainbow Holo Collage 8 Blue

Next we have my splashiest, most rainbow-throwin’ polish, Color Club’s blue Crystal Baller.  I always want to call this polish Blue Baller, but that’s just me – kind of perverted that way.

Rainbow Holo Collage 10 Purple

In the second-to-last spot we have Enchanted Polish’s purple mystery lacquer from April 2017.  Holos often don’t present very well as against a pastel base, but April 2017 is the sweet exception – I think it looks like sparkly clouds of cotton candy.

Rainbow Holo Collage 11 Pink

And finally, we have Cirque’s popsicle-hued, freesia-scented pink, Powwow.  I had actually forgotten that this polish (all of Cirque’s polishes, actually) smells like freesia.  Fresh freesias are one of my favourite flowers – I just want to devour that scent, it’s so friggin’ intoxicating!  But huffing your nails all day long is just plain weird, so I’ll content myself with staring at them instead.  Like its scent, I forgot how pretty Powwow is.  It reminds me of a melty cherry popsicle (what thing doesn’t remind me of food in some way?!)

Rainbow Holo Collage 2

And so there we have it, a pleasant passel of polishes to perk up your precipitation-filled, uh, day (sorry, no P words to denote the concept of a day, my linguistics bad.) 🙂

Who’s a Naughty Girl Then?


This polish, that’s who, Different Dimension’s holographic Naughty.  Or should I say “Differen Dimensio”? That’s how my bottle is labelled, owing to what looks like a printing error.  I kind of like it; it sounds like a spell from Harry Potter.  Accio manicuris!

Nomenclature notwithstanding, Naughty is actually a very nice polish, applying smoothly, if a touch thickly, in two coats.  This one requires a fast, steady hand.  But oh my, that colour, and the gorgeous holographic flare (technical term that, flare, meaning the deeply saturated, shimmery bit running down the middle of the bottle.)  I nabbed my bottle at Harlow & Co., who has recently begun dealing in Different Dimension’s beautiful polishes.  It was $17.50 Canadian a bottle and worth every Loonie.


You’ve Gotta Be Squidding Me

Squidding Collage

Here’s a polish I haven’t given much of a workout, Different Dimension’s You’ve Gotta Be Squidding Me.  I have no idea how it came by that name – the only squid I can think of right now, besides the giant dead one I saw moldering behind glass at the Boston Aquarium when I was eight, are those little white ones that flash bright red when they mate en masse, a display of such supreme underwater acrobatics, most of the little buggers fall dead from exhaustion immediately afterward, carpeting the sea floor with their limp carcasses.  Then seals eat them.  ANYHOW, I’m *fairly* certain Different Dimension didn’t have an out of control sex-squid key party in mind when they named this polish.  Here’s hoping!

You’ve Gotta Be Squidding Me is such a pretty polish, but it’s also quite tricky.  The jelly formulation is lovely and this polish applies beautifully, but a couple of hours after drying, it does that thing that nearly all jelly polishes do and begins to pull back at the edges of my nails.  Visible nail lines can also be an issue, particularly in the sun (I used four coats for this manicure before deciding to call it, nail lines and all.)

Squidding Sun Collage

The lush coral hue of Squidding Me is gorgeous, though, and this purple flakie-stuffed polish is a fantastic colour chameleon, flashing between a kind of candied pinky-orange, a darker, purple-tinged coral and neon pink.  Gorgeous; a perfect summer polish.  And not at all evocative of perverted cephalopods boning themselves to death, no siree.


Clown Pants

50 Shades Bottle

This polish reminds me of the polka dotted prints you see on clown pants. That’s all I see – clown pants. Which is funny, because when exactly is the last time I laid eyes on a clown?  Half past never?  I’m not sure I’ve ever been to a circus.  Certainly not one that wasn’t of my own making, that is. 😉

This super fun lacquer’s name is actually 50 Shades of Yay, and it’s from a new-to-me polish maker, Delush Polish.  50 Shades is actually quite similar to another polish I already own, Different Dimension’s Why Am I Such a Misfit?  Both are sheer white crellies (I will never not hate that word) stuffed with an assortment of colourful, bauble-like glitter.  50 Shades’ glitter mix is an especially pretty one, all pinks and purples and giant turquoise circles – aside from the clown pants, this polish also really reminds me of frosted animal crackers.

Unlike Misfit, however, 50 Shades’ formula is rock solid.  Mega glitter polishes, particularly those with a pale, sheer base, often require multiple, multiple coats to reach full opacity, and with all that glitter mucking up the works, things can get lumpy awfully quickly.  50 Shades of Yay does not suffer from this problem, applying smoothly in just four coats, and I never had to fish for that much-coveted large circle glitter – in fact, on my final coat, I had to flick a number of them off the brush, lest things take an immediate detour into Lumpytown.  All in all, I was super impressed with what should have been a hella temperamental polish.  I’ll absolutely be checking out their other offerings – glittery, all – which are available at Harlow & Co.

50 Shades Fingers

Vitamin C

Vitamin C HandYou’ll run zero chance of contracting scurvy sporting this citrusy mani. Just in case that was a worry.

The glitter topper is Candy Lacquer’s Citrus Smoothie, a clear base loaded with green, yellow, orange, white and cherry pink matte glitters. Here I’ve paired it with Different Dimension’s hot pink You’ve Gotta Be Squidding Me for a super fresh and juicy, right-on-the-cusp-of-summer manicure.Vitamin C Collage

You’re So Charming

Charmed Bottle“Hey Sandra?” you may be thinking to yourself (“Yes, reader?” I’d reply while poking my head out of a locker, because I grew up on So You Can’t Do That on Television.) “Hey Sandra, pay attention! I’m not talking about ’80s Canadian TV shows. I’m talking about that little gemstone charm on your ring finger. Thought you didn’t like obtrusive crap on your nails, hmmmm? Who’s the hypocrite now?” And that’s about the moment I’ll stick my head back in the locker and scamper away like a shamed little bunny, because I’m the hypocrite now, ABSOLUTELY, as I have really come to love obtrusive crap on my nails. It’s maybe sort of a disease? Because I once swore up and down that it’d be a dark day in hell when I showed up with stuff on my nails, and now I’m posting a new, stuff-filled manicure nearly every single week. Cripes, somebody save me from myself!

Or not, because these charms are indeed quite charming, and I really love the jewelry-type effect they add to beautiful, but otherwise basic, manicures. Here I’ve shown a little pear-shaped cluster of glittering stones from Daily Charme over Different Dimension’s gold-flecked mauve, Luminosity. Daily Charme’s nail goodies all sport gently curved backs, which helps them adhere nicely to the surface of your nail and cuts down on that aggravating thing where you pull your hand through, say, the arm of your sweater and promptly rip the darn thing clean off your finger. They’re also quite lovely and delicate in that twee, Mod Cloth sort of way, and once again running contrary to my mistaken beliefs, not the least bit obtrusive! Much like fake eyelashes, you adjust to the presence of a nail charm on your person (my, what a formal sentence fragment) – I actually had to remember to pry mine off before bed last night, lest it be lost forever to the stormy cotton seas of my bedding.

So mock all you want, should you wish – it’s not like I don’t have it coming. But I think I’ll continue to be charmed by charms…only from now on, I’ll proudly own up to it. 🙂Charm Hand

Why Am I Such a Misfit?

MisfitSomething a lot of people don’t know about my husband, because it’s a bit he doesn’t trot out very often in polite company, is that he is a fantastic mimic. He picks up on people’s accents and verbal ticks really well and can fire back flawless imitations that would make your head spin. Although I wouldn’t call them imitations in the strictest sense of the term, as the usual impression subjects – Sean Connery, just about any Mike Myers character, John Wayne – are somehow slightly beyond his reach (or interest.) But mimicking accents and speech patterns and sounds – my lord, the sounds – are all square in his wheelhouse, and he loves tormenting me with his far too realistic vocal impressions of things that scare the ever living crap out of me, like Gollum, the aliens from Mars Attacks and the crawling-down-the-stairs-inside-out-and-backwards-dead-girl from The Grudge.

Fun story: One rainy evening on our honeymoon we went and saw The Grudge. When we exited the theatre at Universal Orlando’s City Walk, an outdoor pedestrian mall whose signage and lighting makes Vegas’s look downright subdued, we were both scared shitless and jumping at every little sound. But I guess he got over his fright, because at some point I awoke in the evening, disoriented from sleeping in a strange bed in an even stranger hotel room, to find my new husband softly, but then with frightening intensity, hacking out that odd, almost electric-sounding gagging noise the vengeful, inside out ghost woman from The Grudge hits you with two seconds before she eats your soul. It didn’t take me long to figure out that my beloved was pulling his new wife’s leg – you know, once my heart rate returned to something approaching human after skyrocketing into race horse territory – mostly because he was cackling like a jackass, and so with a swift, “You’re an asshole” and a smooch, we both rolled over and drifted back to dreamland. But really, his impressions of the oogie boogies that keep ME awake at least are uncanny, and my personal one-way ticket to Freakville (which is why he doesn’t bust them out too often; a joker, yes, but mean, never.)

So it was kind of funny that I bought this polish, Different Dimension’s Why Am I Such a Misfit?, because the character this polish is inspired by, Hermey the Elf from 1964’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, is one of those ones my husband likes to mimic, and right on up there on my hit list of hate. I just bristle when that movie comes on around the holidays, and if I’m not out of the room by the time Hermey somehow declares around the eight litres of saliva in his mouth, “I want to be! an orthodontist!” my husband comes and finds me and does it for him. ‘Cause that’s love, folks!

One small note about this polish that has nothing to do with things I hate: While the white crelly (shudder) base is of a nice, medium thickness, Why Am I Such a Misfit? is positively stuffed with glitter large and small (mostly large.) It’s a difficult one to apply, and worn by itself, it tends to look lumpy, even beneath two perfectly smoothing layers of topcoat. Next time I’d layer a couple of coats over a white base polish to cut down on application time and all of the lumpy.MisfitHand