Well, isn’t this always just the way – sit down with a bunch of polishes and absolutely no firm idea in your mind of what you might like to do with them, and out the other side pops one of the best manicures you’ve done in ages. Must be a Friend of Murphy kind of situation (as in Murphy’s Law. I always call annoying, vaguely ironic happenstances (if you’re using the Alanis definition) that don’t fall under the banner of Murphy’s Law “Friends of Murphy.” I suppose they could also be relatives. This is very clearly a Maeve Murphy situation as it applies to nail art. You know, dear old Aunt Maeve with the manicures.)
I think this post may have gotten away from me a bit.
Anyhow, I really did just sit down with a pile of holographic polishes and no real idea of what to do with them, and an hour later this is what emerged. I don’t often do much colour blending in my manicures, as I find nail lacquer a really difficult medium to paint in – it wants to dry out so quickly, I often don’t have time for proper puttering and painting. But I gave it a whirl today, and I love the results.
Also makes for a very pretty wax paper palette. Just in case you’ve ever wondered, by the way, what kind of palette I use for my polishes, I use whatever’s handiest. For the longest time I used the front or back of old DVD cases. It was fun painting blobs of polish over top of Ben Affleck’s face. But these days I use a tiny square of wax paper, a system that’s working out just fine. Less waste, mostly, but also the polish seems to dry out not quite so quickly on wax paper as opposed to plastic, which is a definite improvement in my books. What a glimpse behind the magic! 😉
So here’s a great example of a manicure that wound up in a very different place than it began. Initially, I was going to cover that candy sweet pink gradient with a dainty rose print, something very English garden. Then I got out my black and white polishes and my dotting tool, and next thing you know, I’ve got the colour and design of a pair of knee high socks I owned in high school (in grade 13 when I was living somewhere near the fashion junction of Clueless and your local patchouli-scented skate shop. Wow, I loved those socks. Funny thing to say about polka dotted hosiery that was actually fairly unflattering, but I did.) 😉 Then I added some silver spike charms up by my cuticles for maximum snagability (no way I’d wear these charms around my precious socks, bitchin’ – oh hey, El! – though they are.)
Sprinkled birthday cake nails! Just because.
Or to slightly mangle a Jimmy Buffett song, somewhere it’s Birthday O’Clock. 😉
Here’s a nifty, multi-look mani that makes the most of the polishes I used, four colour-shifting chromatics from Polish Me Silly. And with thanks to that colour shiftiness and the tiniest tilt of your hand, this simple dotted nail art can look like three different manicures in one, perfect if you’re looking to maximize your manis, or even if you’re just really indecisive. 😉
Here I used four Polish Me Silly chromatics, two duo-chromes (Holy Shift, first, and Guilty Pleasure, third) and two multi-chromes (Dreamer, second, and Paradise, fourth.) In the polished nomenclature, chromatic refers to the lacquer’s finish, in this case a liquid metal-type paint job to rival the flashiest of cars in the Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (actually, I think Twink’s Incredible Hulk car is the exact same shade of green as Dreamer, and shut up, I KNOW I know too much about that stupid movie, but I can’t help myself, it’s awful/terrible and Han is way hot and I can’t. stop. watching…except it actually features real stunt driving, instead of Vin Diesel smirk-driving on, like, submarines in the Arctic, and it’s pretty badass. I think this comparison may have gotten away from me a bit.)
Duo-chrome means the polish shifts back and forth between two colours, and multi-chrome means it shifts between three or four. This just means that depending on the lighting conditions or the angle of your hand, your nail art can look like a few different manis in one. Quite economical of time and polish, yes, but just a fun look to play around with all the same.
Mickey Mouse turned 90 years old this year, and all across the Walt Disney World Resort, where I was lucky enough to enjoy a recent lovely vacation, there were tons of opportunities to meet Mickey and Minnie in their birthday wear (not to be confused with birthday suits, which would be an entirely different and altogether terrifying experience.) Both Mickey and Minnie are sporting some fly new threads for the occasion, a white suit for Mickey and a white sundress for Minnie, both liberally sprinkled with multi-coloured dots. There are also some black Minnie ears available in the shops, likewise adorned with rainbow-hued polka dots, because this is Disney, and of course there are.
We get asked all the time if we’ve met the park OGs, Mickey and Minnie, and the answer is no, never, not a once. My husband and I go to Disney World and we meet Kylo Ren, Chewbacca and BB-8. We stand in a two and a half hour long lineup to meet Jack and Sally of The Nightmare Before Christmas (worth every one of those 9,000 seconds!) We hang out with Wreck-It-Ralph and Vanellope Von Schweetz, dine with the Beast and rawk out with Vampirina. And I once nearly overturned a tavern table in my zest for sprinting outside and directly into the bulgy, waiting arms of Gaston.
But Mick and Min have remained elusive. Something to rectify on our next trip. For now I’ll just have to satisfy myself with these nails that rock both Mickey and Minnie’s birthday dots. To the next 90, young mouse(s)!
Because the colours I used in this manicure are quite Frankenstein-y, no? Also because the topcoat I used (name withheld to protect the cruddy) dragged most of the polish off the dots, giving these nails a very undone sort of look. It really doesn’t help that by adding the matte topcoat (name also withheld to protect the likewise cruddy) it caused the polish at the very edges of my nails to pucker. Or maybe it does help – I’m sure Frankenstein’s skin was not unblemished. Now there was a man in desperate need of a rejuvenating skin mask.
Anyhow, happy early Halloween! Let’s celebrate with these nails, because they’re kind of a (pretty) nightmare.
Or: When Good Ideas Go Stupid! So here’s how this mani was supposed to play out. First, paint on a starry night background. Then, using a dotting tool, randomly dot on white polish for your “fireflies.” Once dry, top the white polish with neon yellow polish. Now your fireflies are glowing! Then, using a detail brush dipped in acetone, apply a bead to the top of each neon yellow dot. What’s supposed to happen next is the acetone spreads out, taking a bit of that neon yellow polish with it, depositing it in a sort of glowing corona of light around your dotted-on fireflies. I’ve seen this technique used multiple times in various tutorials, and they always make it seem like it’s just the easiest thing in the world to accomplish.
But guess what? It totally wasn’t! Oh sure, the actual nail art-ing part went fine, but when it came time to drop that little bead of acetone onto my nails, it stayed resolutely put, burning a neat little hole through each of the dotted-on fireflies, straight down to the base polish. In desperation, I finally began dunking my detail brush into acetone and then into the neon yellow polish in an attempt to create a kind of neon yellow wash to encircle the fireflies. And that’s where I left it! I don’t think these nails are great, and the technique as described is not one I’ll be returning to, but hey, the more you know, right?