Clash of Colours


With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, I thought it would be fun to sort through my nail polish collection and pull my favourites in the supposedly clashing combo of pink and red.  I don’t go in for all that clashing malarkey – pink and red is one of my favourite colour combinations, hard at work in my wardrobe, my makeup and even my home decorating (“Lotta pink in here, huh?” sneered a plumber last year.  I wanted to ask him if his masculinity was quite finished being threatened by a colour, but instead I just smiled and paid him for a job very well done.)

Anyhow, lots of pink and red around here, a palette preference that apparently carries over into my nail polish collection, because I own an absolute ton of pink and red lacquers (as well as every variant in between, from cotton candy, to coral, to wine.)  We’d be here until Valentine’s Day itself were I to show you every one of my pink and red polishes, and so instead I’m whittling the list down to 10 favourites from KB Shimmer, Picture Polish, Emily de Molly and Whimsical Ideas by Pam.  There’s a little something for everyone here, from lush, berry-hued cremes, to fiery glitter bombs speckled with tiny hearts, so go on ahead and fall in love.

First up we have two of my oldest lacquers, Picture Polish’s raspberry and gold shimmer, Electric Dream, and O’Hara, a candy apple red spiked with tiny holographic shards.


Next we have two polishes from Whimsical Ideas by Pam, primary red creme, Starbucks Holiday Cup, and Tutu Sweet, a vibrant bubblegum pink stuffed with silvery-white and hot pink matte glitter.


Here in the middle we find two picks from Emily de Molly that are representing the Valentine’s season in both name and appearance, glittery melted popsicle, The Unloved (index and ring fingers), and Heart Street, a very retro mix of red, orange, purple and pink heart glitters in a fiery red base (middle and pinkie fingers.)


Finally, we have four polishes from KB Shimmer.  This makes sense, as KB’s terrific polishes make up the bulk of my collection.  The first pairing is raspberry pink creme, Grin and Gerbera It, and Such a Vlad-Ass, a cool, vampy blood red.


And finally-finally, we have the second KB pairing, candy sweet pastel glitter, Sweet Egg-scape, and maybe the most perfect red creme to grace my fingertips in the past four years, Chilly Pepper.


Portrait of the Artist as a Gardener

EDM Bottle

Another literary reference for you there, this time tying this polish, Emily de Molly’s Monet’s Garden, to James Joyce’s Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man.  Wah-wah.  It’s not my best literary allusion, but I try (actually, I don’t; Portrait is another one of those texts I was assigned across multiple courses in university, and yet still managed to avoid like it was carrying the plague.  Paging Mr. Joyce: HAVE A FREAKING POINT.)

The point of this post was to highlight Monet’s Garden, a favourite of mine and a fitting polish for this rainy, nearly heady summer’s day, but I fear I’m just exposing myself as an academic fraud – in my English classes in particular, if I could avoid a text, I would.  Which is not exactly the point in pursuing a post-secondary education, now, is it, although I take perverse pleasure in having dodged dour old Joyce across three different classes.  THAT I remember, go figure.

EDM Fingers Front

EDM Fingers Side

Life of Pi(e)

Life of Pie Bottle

I think all of my glittery jellies, like this one, Emily de Molly’s much loved The Unloved, look like pie filling.  So I crusted this manicure up a bit, painting on some lattice-type pastry work using a Whimsy I’ve been getting a lot of enjoyment out of lately, butterscotch-hued Caramellow.

And now I want pie.  This is not an unusual feeling for me – I usually want pie, particularly if it’s my favourite dessert of all time, my mother’s homemade apple pie.  It is SO GOOD and completely unlike any other pie I’ve ever eaten – sweet, but a touch salty, with a mix of about five different apples and tender pastry I’d cross a desert for.  Oh man, now I want THAT pie! The craziest thing of all is if I called and even so much as hinted that I was hankering for her pie, she’d make it and have it delivered to me by midnight (my parents live quite close to me, but still!)  Just one of the many (spoiled) benefits to being an only child – POD (or Pie On Demand.)

Life of Pie Fingers


Uni-Dragon Fingers

If such a mythical, hybrid creature actually existed (and I bet if I went looking, I could find some VERY disturbing otherkin fanfic, so maybe I just won’t) I have no doubt its…scales…or perhaps hair (?) would look just like this manicure, an awesome combination of Emily de Molly’s green glitter, Black Forest, and Ozotic’s unimaginatively-named chromatic glitter topper, 528.

Uni-Dragon Fingers Side

She’s My Cherry Pie

Cherry Pie Fingers

Younger readers are confused right now because they have no idea what that’s referencing, and more seasoned, shall we say, readers are confused because did I seriously just make a Warrant reference? Yes, yes, I did! But what does it say about you that you knew what I was talking about, hmm? 😉 Skeezy metal music, kids. Us olds are talking about our silly old stuff again. I know, I know, it’s wicked tiresome. I swear, one day we will stop talking, just wait.

But for now, I’m going to talk about this manicure, which was inspired by the glitter polish I used here, Emily de Molly’s The Unloved, which I think looks like cherry pie filling. But then again, is there any polish that doesn’t remind me of food in some way? Very few, actually! Then I remembered that I had this adorable little nail charm from Daily Charme that would literally put the cherry on top of this gorgeous manicure. Sweet! Now sing it with me, everybody: “Tastes so good/make a grown man cry/sweet! cherry! pie!” Mmm, cherry pie.

Cherry Pie Bottle

Mixed and Matched

Mix and Match CollageI might be deluding myself here, but I like to think that my nail polish procurement issues veer more towards charming quirk as opposed to worrying pathology, a tenuous distinction made and tempered only by the fact that I really USE my polishes, even – especially – those of the pricey and/or hard-to-find variety. The kid in me that used to keep a small collection of Au Coton bags (Canadian gals who grew up in the ’80s will recognize that name – it was kind of the American Apparel of its time, and your purchases came in adorable, multi-coloured carrier bags) feels that pull to hoard pretty items, especially those that are, like so many nail polishes, limited edition or otherwise special in some way, but the adult that I actually am (or pretend to be) demands that I get some real utility out of this stuff, no matter the price tag or an item’s perceived awesomeness.

I offer that by way of explanation for these three mix ‘n match manis I did this weekend, a red-to-purple and then purple-to-red gradient using two new Enchanted polishes, the latter of which I later topped off with a glittery Emily de Molly, an audacious move, according to some good natured grief I received on Instagram, as apparently you DO NOT defile an Enchanted polish with anything else, not even another Enchanted polish. I guess you’re supposed to swatch it once, post the photos to Instagram whilst obnoxiously referring to it as a “baby” (eeeugh) and then stare longingly at it until the day it all just dries up? Sounds productive.

And so instead I choose to actually use my polishes – all of my polishes – in gorgeous, single-colour manis or in combination in nail art, mixing it up and maximizing my purchases for all they’re worth, regardless of a polish’s pricetag or pedigree. That seems like the best way to get the most out of my not huge, but also not insubstantial, stash, all the while making room for more (see, worrywart Instagrammers, there’s your silver lining)!

Here I did a red-to-purple gradient using Enchanted’s plummy January 2015 over their red rose February 2015. I then did another gradient, this time reversing the colours to purple-to-red, before topping it with Emily de Molly’s glittery Heart Street. Heart Street is a hot pink, jelly-based glitter that you can absolutely get opaque in about three coats, but I prefer it as a single-coater over dark polishes, particularly lush purples like January 2015 that pull and highlight all that gorgeous, fiery-coloured glitter.092

Dark Heart

Heart Street Gradient Collage WatermarkedI recently received this polish, Emily de Molly’s Heart Street, as a reward for my friendy-spendy nail polish procurement problem over on Like most stocklists, they have a pretty generous points reward program, and after a year of hoarding my points, I cashed them in for this unique lovely (which is one of a handful of beautiful Emily de Molly polishes they’ve recently added to the rewards catalogue, should you too wish to relieve yourselves of the troublesome burden of your nail polish points.)

I initially tried Heart Street, a fun and fiery mix of red, hot pink and orange glitter and pink hearts in a raspberry red jelly base, as a solo act, but it was – like so many polishes containing oversized glitter – just a bit too much. After applying three coats, which were necessary for full opacity, the polish was smooth to the touch – Emily de Molly’s glitter-in-jellies are pretty well universally fantastic when it comes to formula – but multiple coats of the red base had obscured and hidden all that gorgeous Valentiney glitter, and they looked lumpier than figgy pudding (how’s them mixed holiday metaphors?)

So I thought I’d try it again, but this time I layered it over a black-on-red (and red-on-black) gradient and stuck to just one coat of Heart Street. I think the resulting look is pretty awesome, like embers glowing away in a fireplace, with hearts! I particularly like how the red jelly base amps up the colour of the black and red polishes and offsets all that pretty purple micro glitter. Ever so seasonally out of step (come back in two months, right?) but gorgeous nonetheless, and free, free, free (well, except for the part where I bought enough nail polish in the first place to allow me to have enough points to be able to cash them in on a top-of-the-line freebie, which does not even remotely work out to be a fair exchange, I KNOW, but we shall not speak of that right now.) 😉Heart Street Hand

Monet’s Garden

Monet's Garden CollageI broke a nail rather spectacularly this week, and so in lieu of soldiering on as I have in the past, my tinier-than-usual nubs an aggravating reminder not to vigorously shake water off my hands two inches away from a stone clad wall, I’ve decided to mine through some banked posts for a bit of content from The Way We Were files until I’m all healed up. As such, I’ve posted an absolute mess of swatch-type posts and very little nail art as of late, an absence I was sort of surprised to have felt. If you had told me a little over a year ago that I’d feel ever so slightly off after going three days in a row without intricately painting my nails, I’d have dubbed you Lord or Lady Crazy Pants, because nail polish and nail art were just not that important to me. Now I’m trying to find coping mechanisms to get through half a week of holo withdrawal. Strange world.

Having said all that, there’s infinitely worse ways to tide myself over and appease the nail blogging gods than with swatches of gorgeous polishes like this one, Emily de Molly’s Monet’s Garden. This is one of the first international polishes I ever bought, and it remains a favourite in major rotation owing to its lush turquoise jelly base and Impressionist-esque mix of holographic glitter. The great Cher Horowitz once commented that a classmate of hers was a “full-on Monet” – “It’s like a painting, see? From far away it’s okay, but up close it’s a big old mess” – but she’d be dead wrong about this nail polish, because it’s sublimely gorgeous just every which way.

Pale Promise

Frail Promise BottleHuge, chunky indie glitters are the mainstays of my nail polish collection (my VIPs – or very important polishes – if you will), but I’ve recently come to appreciate the softer side of sparkly lacquer, particularly this daintily delightful beauty, Emily de Molly’s Frail Promise. At a distance, Frail Promise doesn’t look like anything more than a pretty pale grey polish, but up close it’s a gold shimmer-infused stunner peppered with tiny licorice allsorts-hued glitter. None of that sounds like it should remotely work in tandem, and yet it does, producing an amazingly unique, super flattering and not-too-showy glitter polish that’s perfect for those days when your nails have to fly under the radar, but you’d still like to display a little polished personality.Frail Promise HandFrail Promise Fingers

Cherry Pop!

TheUnlovedCollageWatermarkedThere’s no truth in advertising (or in nail polish names) if this juicy, glittery beauty from Emily de Molly is called The Unloved, because *I* LOVE it! With its chunky, mega light-reflecting glitter and squishy jelly base, I think it looks a bit like a melted cherry popsicle, and we all know how I feel about foodstuff-like-stuff on my hands.

The Unloved is Emily de Molly’s berry pink entry in their line of gorgeous, glitter-in-jelly polishes. With its beautiful mix of holo glitter suspended in a vibrant, squishy jelly polish, it behaves exactly like its sister polishes Cosmic Forces (purple), Scarlet’s Red (crimson) and Turbulence (indigo blue), amongst many others. Jelly polishes tend to be quite transparent, even when they’re offered in dark, ultra saturated colours, so two coats are just about always necessary, although I like to add a third coat to really highlight that embedded look jelly glitters take on where it looks as though the glitter is hanging suspended in the polish.