I’ve recently gotten into the habit of grabbing a handful of randomly coloured polishes and just seeing where the inspiration takes me. After fishing this collection of polishes out of my stash – L’Oreal’s gold Because You’re Worth It, Wet n Wild’s orange Sunny Side Up, Sally Hansen’s grape jelly-hued Pep-Plum and OPI’s purple Do You Have This Color in Stock-Holm? – I was inspired to try my hand at some every-nail-for-itself, embroidered-esque nail art, the end result of which reminds me of gorgeous, hothouse-hued saris. I used to live near a fabric store that specialized in the intricately embroidered and sequined fabrics I imagine an Indian woman would wear to a formal event like a wedding. Or the Oscars. The price per yard was just this side of obscene, though, dashing my hopes of draping my bedroom in gorgeously woven fabric, although afterwards I continued to pine and admire from afar. These nails really remind me of some of those fabrics, and thankfully at a fraction of the cost. Nail art for the win once again!
Ever had one of those polishes that looks gorgeous in real life but, like the Loch Ness Monster, a unicorn and the Yeti all combined, it absolutely, positively, steadfastly refuses to be photographed? That’s this polish, or this combination of polishes, Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s holo Rainbow Sprinkles over OPI’s royal purple Do You Have This Color in Stock-holm? Stock-holm is doing that annoying thing purple polishes do where they photograph as blue, while the fine silvery holo of Rainbow Sprinkles has sent my camera’s auto focus feature into spasms of photographic insanity, resulting in approximately 135 blurry, mostly unusable photographs of what is otherwise a really lovely, delicately twinkling manicure. It’s par for the course to run across a polish or two that just refuse to show their faces on film, usually because of an excess of holo – check! – or because they’re purple – check, check! – although that knowledge doesn’t make it any less annoying when you’re standing out on your balcony in -30 degree weather, freezing your ass and other stuff off as you contort your hands and body into fun new positions in an effort to capture the likeness of what is rapidly becoming a sort of obsession for you, the mythical Mani of the Mountain, a creature who, it is said, will lose its soul should the harsh, unnatural glow of a photographic flash alight upon its rarely-seen countenance. Bah!
Having said all that, the best of a bad lot of photos does get the general idea across, and Rainbow Sprinkles looks pretty fantastic all up close and personal, riding on a super smooth base of Do You Have That Color in Stock-holm? Looks like I’ll just have to be content with this brief, aggravating view of a frustratingly elusive nail polish animal…for now.
I knew this manicure, a purple-on-black gradient topped with blue-leaning, iridescent flakies, was going to look cool, but I had no idea the little blue flakies would pull so much light from the dark polish and glow neon blue! It’s such a cool effect – like tiny LED lights for your nails – and one that remains that way no matter the angle of your hand, the quality of the light or, apparently, your choice of matte or shiny topcoat. Neat!
Here I’ve shown a touch-too-dark gradient of OPI’s purple Do You Have This Color in Stock-holm? over Pure Ice’s Black Out, topped with the blue flakies from Revlon’s double-ended Moon Candy polish in Orbit. And going for two different looks from the same mani, I sealed the whole works off first with a coat of ultra shiny Seche Vite before finishing up with a coat of Essie’s satiny Matte About You. Either way, the light from the iridescent flakes blazes through, elevating this simple glitter-on-gradient manicure above the of-the-moment flakie fray.
I adore star imagery – I have a couple of tattoos that would speak to that assertion – and despite a pre-tattoo, high school habit of inking rings of rainbow stars around my wrists with scented Crayola markers, I really can’t draw a star to save my life. They always end up looking vaguely like bottom-heavy starfish, and I invariably lose at least one of the star’s points to some odd miscalculation of angles on my part when forming the other four points (here’s where Mr. Finger Candy would rudely – but truthfully – butt in and point out that of course I suck at drawing stars; it involves math. I’d be offended, but it’s true – my talents do not lie in mathematics. One need only consult my high school math teachers to verify that one (because really, I naturally suck so hard at math, and no, not because I spent all of my class time drawing rings of rainbow stars around my wrists!)
So it was with great joy that I stood back upon completing this manicure and saw that these free-handed stars are not bad, not bad at all! This is a simple, allover starry design that takes inspiration from the pattern on a teeny little party hat I once bought for my cat. I probably don’t need to tell you that she HATED IT with the fire of 1,000 burning suns and fought its existence for the entire 37 and a half seconds it was on her head, which turned out to be all the time I needed to snap a few embarrassing photos, and after that it went into a bucket full of old cat stuff and was never heard from again. Just the way she would have preferred it all along, sneaky girl. 😉
For this manicure I used two China Glaze polishes and two OPI polishes over Orly’s silver holo, Mirrorball, China Glaze’s hot pink Rich & Famous and jade green Four Leaf Clover, and OPI’s lush blue No Room for the Blues and royal purple Do You Have This Color in Stock-holm?
This 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.
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.