Geographic nails – excellent practice at keeping a steady hand with a detail brush, and a great excuse to just mess around with a bunch of pretty polishes, here OPI’s royal purple, Do You Have This Color in Stock-holm?, Essie’s orchid-hued Play Date and Sally Hansen’s warm pink, No Ifs, Ands, or Buds (am I the last person on earth to resist the Oxford comma? Here it is on my nail polish, for cripes’ sake!)
So this is totally the tile backsplash in the Golden Girls’ Miami kitchen, right? We just need an always-at-the-ready and ever-so artfully displayed cherry cheesecake parked in the foreground and we’ll be all set!
For these free-handed geometric nails (striping tape makes me itchy) I used four Essie polishes from last year’s summer collection, white Private Weekend, pale lemon Chillato, coral Peach Side Babe and baby blue Salt Water Happy, outlining the design in a favourite Pure Ice polish, lime green Wild Thing.
Skittle mani style. A skittle manicure, for those not in the know, is an every-nail-for-itself type of mani in which you paint each one of your nails a different colour, or one single colour (say, purple) but in a variety of tones, as I have here.
The purple polishes I used for these nails were, from index to pinkie, Finger Paints’ neon orchid, Pop Art Purple, Essence’s Color & Go in Break Through, Essie’s lilac-hued Play Date and Bonita’s lavender Splendid Love.
I then topped the whole works with one and a bit coats of Enchanted Polish’s Rainbow Juice (With Pulp), a sparkly holographic topper stuffed with silver holo flakies. It makes everything it touches look like it’s been sprinkled with ultra fine diamonds. I think Rainbow Juice looks the best here paired with Pop Art Purple, because the holograhic flakes play off so nicely against its lush neon hue, but Play Date is proving to be no slouch either.
Also, apropos of nothing, but it is so hot and humid here today. I was bundled in a giant sweater yesterday morning. Wither the spring?
Kicking off the beginning of another week with this pretty, colourful manicure that, if I’m not mistaken, doesn’t quite match! I don’t often pair this fun glitter topper, Candy Lacquer’s Butterfly Candy, with anything other than pastels – polishes that are any darker than a mid-tone tend to obscure the tinier bits of glitter. But I was looking for a different kind of effect with this manicure – more saturated, and a little more in keeping with the upcoming holiday season. I’m just not sure a rich, raspberry-tinged cerise (Essie’s Plumberry) was the answer (although I apparently very much have fruit on the mind.) This manicure feels, for lack of a better term, clashy. 😉 Perfect for those Monday, Monday blues (or reds), though, I suppose.
Pudging out on a field of rainbow holographic twinkle dust. I think I’ll call him Trevor. He just looks like a Trevor, doesn’t he?
And because it will most likely get asked, the holographic glitter topper I used here (over a base of Essie’s periwinkle blue Pret-A-Surfer) is Enchanted Polish’s Rainbow Juice (With Pulp.)
Here’s another super colourful and unique pick from Candy Lacquer, purveyor of fine, glittery nailstuffs, and my favourite maker of indie nail polish. This is Beach Blanket, and it is a perfect example of what Candy Lacquer does so very well – vibrant colour combinations and an awesome, everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach to glitter mix; basically, more is more is more, and that’s a beauty sentiment I can totally get behind! Beach Blanket is an especially fun polish, a predominantly lime-hued, mega-super-multi glitter studded with a neon rainbow’s worth of hearts, stars, hexes, circles, flowers, bars and probably a bunch of other shapes I’m missing on a first pass.
You’d think a polish as busy as this one, both in terms of aesthetics and actual glitter volume, wouldn’t be much in terms of formulation – some types of glitter seemingly “eat” the base they’re suspended in, making for a dry, lumpy mess. Beach Blanket – indeed, all Candy Lacquer polishes I’ve purchased over the past two years, which would be (oh, my) about 15 – does not suffer from that problem, applying smoothly, with no weird bald spots and a nice mix of glitter with each and every brushstroke. All the same, I always top my mega glitter bomb polishes with a nice, thick coat of Seche Vite to smooth out any rough edges. Here I’ve shown Beach Blanket over three coats of Essie’s Chillato, a nearly-neon, pistachio green creme, for a fun, vibrant look that’s actually more spring than the summer this Beach Blanket contemplates. Still, who’s splitting hairs when the final result is this cute?
If you dig Candy Lacquer’s polishes as much as I do, you can check out their superb wares here.
…how much better these pink and purple puzzle pieces look in a matte finish as opposed to shiny. Shiny is always lovely, but owing to some combination of the topcoat and/or shadows and glare thrown by the light at the time of day I took these photos, bits of the puzzle pieces were simply disappearing, like this:
But a coat of Essie’s Matte About You was quick to the rescue, softening the harsh edges and making this manicure suddenly so much easier to puzzle out. 😉
Are you watching it? You should be watching it. Hell(‘s Kitchen), I should be watching it. Right now! Mr. Finger Candy binge-watched it pretty much the instant Netflix made it available for streaming, and I watched enough here and there to get me interested in settling in for a good old binge of my own. Daredevil’s my kind of superhero – neither super nor a hero, just one righteously pissed off dude on a mission (see also the Punisher, Batman and, to a lesser extent, the Crow – sure, he’s brought back to life through supernatural means, but for one very specific purpose, and the second he goes off script, he suffers. Again. Because the life and death of Eric Draven can’t be anything but endless friggin’ suffering. I mean, have you heard the man’s “music”? Tortured and torturous.)
But to bring it back to Daredevil, the Marvel television show currently airing on Netflix, one of my favourite things about it so far is the show’s opening credits sequence. There’s just some supremely cool graphics work at play, as thick, viscous-looking ropes of dark red fluid stream over top of landmark buildings and locations in the Daredevil Universe, running down off the screen. This show is bloody, so that fluid is most likely actual blood that Daredevil has bludgeoned out of some hapless underworld type, although it could also be rubber, like his super suit. Or it’s what blind lawyer Matt Murdock, Daredevil’s daytime alter ego, sees after losing most of his eyesight as a child in a chemical accident (why is there always some vat of acid just laying around all unattended in the super worlds?) I actually think it might be Daredevil’s sense of ennui come to thick, smothering life – brother’s so beat-down, he makes Batman look like a ray of sunshine in a pink party dress.
These nails, a red-on-red, shiny-on-matte mani, are inspired by Daredevil’s badass credits sequence. Here I topped three coats of Dollish Polish’s You’ve Got Red On You with one coat of Essie’s Matte About You before brushing on the shiny dripping lines with a tiny detail brush dipped in L’Oreal’s dark red Now You See Me. Plus a whole load of aggravating cleanup, because bloody red is just a total jerk to work with, something I think both nail artists and Daredevil can attest to!
I’ll note for the squeamish and/or gore-curious that at the end of this post – spoiler! – there will be blood. Because it is simply one of those truisms of the nail art world that the second you get cocky about something – your abilities with a detail brush, the health of your nails, the unblemished skin of your hands – is the precise moment everything will fall spectacularly to pieces. This actually holds true for most things in life, but especially the world of nail art, where one day you think to yourself, “Wow, it has been a REALLY long time since I broke a nail” and the next you’re contending with two broken nails, a clipper-inflicted nick and an inch-long gouge on the index finger of your swatching hand where you scraped it across a deeply embedded, tetanus-producing carpet staple you were attempting to yank out of the underside of your stairs. True story (see below)!
But until everything went pie shaped, things were going pretty well with these festive, glittery gradient nails I cobbled together for St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow. Here I used two of my stainiest polishes, Essie’s dark green Pretty Edgy and Pure Ice’s grass green Wild Thing, in a simple gradient, topping the whole thing off with one coat of Cinapro’s Nail Sugar in Hyperactive, a goldy-green holographic glitter in a sheer lime base. Then I added a tiny clover accent nail, but who’s going to notice that when there’s all this yeeeeeeeeee-OUCH going on?
There’s something very mod about this matte manicure (I refuse to use the term “dotticure,” except of course within parentheses.) It’s absolutely the dots themselves – polka dots were a mainstay of the Mod movement – but also the vibrant colour combination.
Did you know that my apartment is actually decorated in the somewhat muted version of this exact colour scheme? My bedroom is a pale, icy turquoise blue, while the remainder of the apartment is what some unenlightened types might refer to as PINK!!! I call it a rich, warm raspberry. Mr. Finger Candy merely calls them walls, because he truly don’t give a frig. Also, it’s a gorgeous colour, so arse anyone who says otherwise (there have been naysayers, like the plumber who once came by and acted like immediately afterwards he was going to have to go roll around in a giant puddle of bull shark testosterone to get all the girly off him, but to them I say nay!) To prove my point, here’s a bit of real life realness for you. Behold, one small portion of my diningroom!
See, that’s not so objectionable. I just really love walls with some life to them (although if I had any decorating balls whatsoever and didn’t have to worry about pesky little things like resale attractiveness or horrifying my mother, I’d decorate my entire apartment like the inside of the Haunted Mansion. Just damask and brocade EVERYTHING.)
But getting back to the issue at hand – namely my hands – this mani was a simple dotted affair of no discernible pattern topped with Essie’s Matte About You. There was no plan in mind beyond making the dots look as random and natural as possible, and the colour combination was already a natural winner. Simple and simply striking, and a look I’ll definitely try again.