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

Instant Galaxy

Instant Galaxy Collage

Galaxy nails (a type of design that makes your nails twinkle like the cosmos) are a mainstay of the nail art world. Indeed, it was after only my third or fourth attempt at nail art, period, that I decided to just jump in the deep end and lay down some sponged-on space nails, technique (or lack thereof) be damned! But it turns out that galaxy manicures are actually pretty easy, and somewhat blunder-proof – after all, the cosmos is just a higgeldy piggeldy mess of colours, lights and sparkles to begin with (Finger Candy: Come for the nails, stay for the faulty science!)

One of the trickier parts of the galaxy look, though, is duplicating the tiny, ice cold pinpricks of light that dot the night sky. Glitter polishes can really pull their weight as starry sky stand-ins, but if you use too heavy a hand, you’ll muddle the look.

But a polish like this one, the aptly named Instant Galaxy, is the perfect backing for spaced-out nails – one light, even coat over a dark polish truly does produce a perfect instant galaxy. Here I’ve shown Instant Galaxy, a holographic topper speckled with tiny ice blue flakies and holo micro glitter, over a basic black creme in both the shade and the sun. In the shade, this polish produces a gorgeous, lightly speckled effect where the flakies glow from within like the first ice chip stars in the velvet night sky (cripes, now we’re getting into overly florid poetic recitations; looks like you’re all getting a full Finger Candy education today, my friends!) I also think this combination in the shade can look a bit like granite – it would be cool to try it over a darkened green or brown or blue. But the really nice surprise with Instant Galaxy is that in addition to being a gorgeous shimmer topper, it’s also a MEGA holo that will turn any polish it touches into an instant rainbow.

All the way around, Instant Galaxy is a pretty perfect specimen (and now we’ve circled back to the science again. But hey, don’t worry, gang, I’ll cut you some slack on tonight’s homework, just because I’m nice that way. Class dismissed!)

Instant Galaxy Hand

Out of focus holos are the best holos!

Instant Galaxy Out of Focus Fingers