Chrome Alone

Chrome Alone 1

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. ūüėČ

Chrome Alone Collage

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.)

Chrome Alone 8

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.

Chromatic Collage

Holo and Chrome

Holo Gradient Dots

With thanks to the pair of duochromes I used in this simple dotted manicure, Enchanted Polish’s Entwined and Neptune, this vertical gradient looks like I used a whole handful of gorgeous colours – purple, plum, green, teal and the barest hint of navy blue, and all of it enhanced by a smattering of silver holographic dots. Cute!

Holo Gradient Side

Great Neptune’s Beard!

Neptune Collage

If we are to go by Johnny Depp’s beloved interpretation, pirates err on the side of being more than a touch metrosexual – rascals, devils, thieves, yes, but in want of a nice manicure? ¬†NEVER. ¬†So I think any pirates in search of a fun new hue would yo-ho, yo-ho all over this drop dead gorgeous lacquer, Enchanted Polish’s turquoise-to-indigo duochrome, Neptune. ¬† A watery-hued cousin of another favourite Enchanted polish, plum-to-purple duochrome Entwined, Neptune features a subtle green-to-blue colour shift that reminds me of gently rolling waves. ¬†Its smattering of delicate holographic glitter really aids in the whole “briny deep” feel, glimmering softly in Neptune’s teal depths like phosphorescent plankton. It’s really quite spectacular. ¬†Big, beautiful recommendation on this one.

Neptune Holo Collage

Neptune Fingers Front

Careless Whisper

Whispering Waves Collage

Here’s a pretty A England polish with a typically florid name, turquoise-to-purple duochrome Whispering Waves. ¬†A England is the king (or queen) of the posh naming scheme, christening their lacquers with evocative monikers inspired by British nobility, Arthurian legend and various works of Victorian era literature. ¬†The polishes themselves are so beautifully made – every A England polish I own applies exactly the same way, which is to say perfectly – and the colours they select – pale pinks, steely greys, tartan greens and rich roses – are soft and elegant. ¬†Whispering Waves, with its lush, oceanic hue and flashy purple shimmer, seems almost off brand in comparison, but hey, I ain’t complain’, because wow, this is one gorgeous polish. ¬†I particularly love the way the purple shimmer makes it look like it’s glowing from within.

A England Bottle

Whispering Waves was only just recently released as part of A England’s Heavenly Quotes Collection. ¬†I suspect it’s going to be popular, and therefore difficult to get your hands on. ¬†I purchased my bottle through Nail Polish Canada, although I see that as of this post, they’re unfortunately sold out. ¬†Not to fret, though – this is absolutely one they’ll be restocking. ¬†Whisper away, waves.

Whispering Waves Fingers

Entwined

Entwined Collage

This stunningly beautiful lacquer, Enchanted Polish’s Entwined, is pulling out all the multi-tasking stops here in one fantastic and versatile beauty product, dabbling around in three different on-trend looks – holos, duochromes and glitter – to create one perfect polish. I really can’t get over how gorgeous, unique and multi-faceted Entwined is, with its chemical haze-ish, plum-to-turquoise duochrome, ultra sparkly linear holo and sweet smattering of holographic glitter. Simply beautiful stuff, and always of the highest quality – an issue you never need worry about with Enchanted’s polishes.

But – why is there always a but? – Enchanted’s products are not the easiest to procure, and tend to be released in maddeningly sporadic spurts. Nail Polish Canada hosts a number of Enchanted releases every year, but they rarely feature new polishes, focusing instead on their older collections. And then there’s the price, which is certainly not Louboutin levels of crazy, but absolutely the kind of thing that would make your frugal grandmother shriek in disbelief. But if you can lay your polished hands on a bottle (or two, or three, or four…) you’ll see that the hype and elevated price point are occasionally worth it for a unique, beautiful and beautifully made product that’s sure to grace your fingertips for many manis to come.

Other Entwined CollageEntwined Sun Fingers

Aquamarine

Mentality First PicHere’s another pick from Mentality Nail Polish’s fabulous line of jellychrome polishes, opalescent beauty Shindig. In certain lights this polish can look a lot like its sister, Gala, both being of the watery-hued variety shot through with tons of gorgeous pink shimmer. But on closer inspection, Shindig is actually quite green; a true aquamarine to Gala’s Bachelor Button blue. To-may-toe, To-mah-toe (is anyone else out there watching The Last Man on Earth? Carol is like some evil dark mischief fairy, right?) they’re both fabulous.

Although it must be said that this line of polishes is really outstanding. In a product landscape littered with the same old, same old (the nail polish world is quite bandwagonesque) Mentality is not only putting out a product that’s unique and complex (these polishes are classified as matte duochrome jellies stuffed with glass shard shimmer) but also beautifully executed – these jellychromes apply like a dream in two easy coats and wear surprisingly well for a matte polish meant to be worn sans topcoat (of course, you also have the option of adding a topcoat – shiny or matte – to protect your mani and draw out all that beautiful opalescent shimmer.)Mentality Hand

These jellychromes are available through Mentality Nail Polish, although I’ve always snagged mine from Harlow & Co., which – knock on wood – has yet to do wrong by me in any way. Nothing but good things to say about them, the least of which is that they carry Mentality’s gorgeous products in the first place!Mentality Second Bottle

And Straight On ‘Til Morning

Second Star BottleJust a little Glam Polish palette cleanser before this week’s big push of Easter and Spring-type manis. Of course, while the rest of the world is seemingly enjoying the beginnings of advanced Springage, my city is mired under a thick blanket of rain, snow and sleet-producing clouds, so this sparkly, vaguely icy-looking polish, a shimmery holo duochrome from Glam Polish called Second Star To The Right, fits right in.

This is my third such similar blue-purple Glam Polish purchase (sorry, you will never hear me utter the “word” “blurple.”) It is a colour mix they do exceedingly well, to say nothing of the fabulous formulations (thin, but never runny or streaky and very nearly opaque in one coat.) I’ve never been anything less than totally wowed by their polishes. If you’d like to share in the love fest (come on over; we’ve got sparkles!) you can find Glam Polish’s products at Harlow & Co.Second Star HandSecond Star Bottle 2

Freeze!

Freeze Machine BottleOkay, okay, no need to shout; I can hear you! And I am SO ahead of you, because it has been freaking freezing around here lately. And the bone-chilling, eyelash-freezing, eyeball-singeing, it-hurts-to-breathe-outdoors variety, too. Winter’s unforgiving chill, if we’re being poetic, and one that’s had my city in a sort of stranglehold for about three straight weeks now. We had a bit of a reprieve last week when the temperatures moved into the low double minus digits (it’s a stupid day indeed when you wake up, look at the temperature and think, “Huh, -13. Not bad, not bad”) but on the whole it’s been bitter and unforgiving. But it’s my own dumb fault, because I’m the moron who chooses to live in these conditions for five to seven months out of the year when I could be toasty warm on a beach in Florida (no, actually, I couldn’t – humidity makes me wilt like a pansy and I’m also not that fond of extreme heat. Basically, I should be living in an environment-controlled terrarium with a bunch of tiny, ceramic gnomes.)

This manicure, a gorgeous combination of Mentality Nail Polish’s opalescent matte duochrome, Gala, and Enchanted Polish’s iridescent glitter, Freeze Machine, is a pretty accurate representation of the weather around these parts as of late – crisp and icy, sparkly and sharp, beautiful and ooh, brrr, cold. Lovely!Freeze Machine Hand

Hey There, Lyds

Lydia BottleFor all my talk of my favourite movies (and boy, do I talk of them often), I don’t actually have one single favourite sitting atop the heap like a glorious, shining beacon of cinematic nostalgia. In fact, if you were to ask me to pick which of The Lost Boys, Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Bowfinger, The Goonies, Detroit Rock City or The Birdcage was my one and only love…we’d be here for a really long time, and at the end of it all I still wouldn’t have an answer for you. You can’t make me choose!

But I suppose if I were well and truly forced to make a decision under threat, say, of never being able to watch any of my favourites ever again, I’d pick Beetlejuice – it is the chosen one! I have spoken in the past (perhaps at length) about how very much I love that movie, and all of the associated licensed properties that went along with it – the off-the-wall cartoon, the infuriatingly difficult NES video game, the neon green lunch box I had in the 10th grade that some meanie threw into the middle of the street, where it (and my heart) shattered into about a million tiny pieces (I’m generally not one to hold grudges – if I don’t like you, I just don’t think about you; simple as that – but 20 years later I still remember that guy and occasionally even wish him ill. I hope he morphed into a completely different person after high school, because Version 1.0 was a rotten jerk.)

All that to say hey look, guys, Beetlejuice nail polish! Or at least nail polish named after a character in Beetlejuice, Winter River, Connecticut’s annual pick for Little Miss Gloom, Lydia Deetz. This is Lydia by Glam Polish, a new-to-me polish manufacturer with its finger on the pulse of what makes this polish maven tick, at the very least! Based on some of the swatches I had seen, I thought Lydia was a purple foil-type polish, but it’s actually a very, very fine mix of mega micro glitter in varying shades of purple, plum and royal blue. In lower lighting the mix of colours creates a cool duochrome effect, flashing back and forth between purple and an almost gold-tinged plum. Formula-wise, Lydia’s a beaut, and I can only hope all of Glam Polish’s offerings are of the same quality – a not-too-thick two-coater that applies smoothly and wears beautifully with no fuss, no muss. Just lovely.Lydia HandLydia Fingers

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