In the Year 2015

Best Nail Art of the Year Collage

If 2015 was the year my nail polish collection went from manageable to the edge of some TLC special, it was also the year my nail art abilities went from pretty good to damn, girl, I’m impressed!  Somewhere around the mid-point of the year things just sort of clicked with me – outlining, shadowing and other bits of arty realism started creeping in, taking my work, I thought, from your standard nail art to something a little more special. But then again, I’m obviously totally biased, so grain of salt and all that, yeah?

I had initially thought to limit my 2015 best-ofs to a standard 12 or even 20, but what with being so impressed with myself and all, I thought I’d aim for a solid 25.  Also, 25 photos look nicer in a collage than 20.  Should you wish to check out the original posts that went along with these manicures, simply click on the highlighted title of each post.  Enjoy, and thank you, as always, for your interest in this blog and your even kinder words of encouragement – it is a delight to nail-art with you. 🙂

Best Collage Row 1

Cranberry Jelly: Cranberry sauce just ain’t cranberry sauce without the can ring indentations, even on your nails. This is my favourite manicure of the year.

Just Desserts: A 1950s colour palette meets polka dots and Jadeite in this manicure that makes excellent use of those little Fimo pieces I can’t ever think of a use for.

Disney Girl Challenge: Ariel (Again): An update to an earlier Little Mermaid design, I love this fun and playful Disney mani.

A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That: Gold, turquoise, black, nude and purple combine in this posh, every-nail-for-itself-type manicure.

A Rip in the Very Fabric of Time: Supernatural nails inspired by the novella The Langoliers by one Mr. Stephen King.

Best Collage Row 2

Indelible Love: Wear your love right on your fingertips with this tattoo-style manicure.

Mumu Memories: When I was a kid my aunt brought a turquoise, hibiscus-printed mumu back from Hawaii for me as a gift. I wore it as pyjamas until I graduated from university, at which point it sort of just disintegrated. This lush, tropical mani bears nearly the exact same print as my beloved PJs.

Drop on In: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was the inspiration for this dark and Disney-fied mani.

Let’s Turn on the Juice and See What Shakes Loose: Because there can NEVER be too much Beetlejuice.

Pudgicorn!: Unicorns are always presented as these sleek, slim and endlessly regal creatures. But what about the unicorn with a weight problem, like chubby little Trevor here? Doesn’t he deserve his own nail art? Well, of course he does!

Best Collage Row 3

Kitten Belly!: Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s brown glitter, Just Add Milk, makes its first of two appearances on this list in this manicure inspired by my cat Weegie’s fluffy belly.

Halloween Town: Another second-attempt mani, this time a highly detailed matte design inspired by Halloween Town from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

One Enchanted Dragon: A simple dotticure made stunning through the use of three different, but co-ordinating, colour-shifting Enchanted polishes.

Home of the World’s Happiest Fish!: Come marvel at Duff Gardens’ fabulous belching fish in the Beerquarium in these Simpsons-inspired nails.

Cookie Party!: Just Add Milk steals the show again in this Cookie Monster-inspired manicure. Coooooo-kiiiiiieeeeee!!!

Best Collage Row 4

Marathon Mani: An unexpected colour combination (glow-in-the-dark baby blue, neon green and peach?) gives this easy dotticure a little hit of something extra special.

The Resourceful Gamer: Mr. Finger Candy asked me to do these nails, inspired by his one-time gaming obsession, Clash of Clans. I chose this manicure as one of my best-ofs because it represents a real turning point in my work; after this, outlining and shading my designs became a MUST.

Attack the Block: I love this manicure so much! Inspired by the aliens from Brit creature feature Attack the Block, who are stark black and featureless save for their gigantic, neon blue fangs, the blue jaws on these nails actually GLOW IN THE DARK. I am the queen of all meta nails, bow down before me!

Cocktail Hour!: Before it became the beauty name we shall not speak, Mentality Polish’s glazes represented some of my most frequently used lacquers, particularly in cocktail-type concoctions like this Blue Lagoon-ish one.

I Shoes You!: Nails inspired by a favourite pair of glittery heels, right down to the texture.

Best Collage Row 5

Nail Sushi: A super detailed, all-over sushi design.

Fashionably Floral: These nails, inspired by a dress from designer Monique Lhuillier, were some of my most popular with you, dear readers.

Disney Girl Challenge: Mabel Pines: Little Miss Mabel has the flyest all-turtleneck wardrobe in all of Gravity Falls.

Adventure Time: The All Princess Edition!: There are over 50 princesses that appear on the cartoon Adventure Time. These are five of the more delicious-sounding ones!

Cinderelly, Cinderelly!: A pimped-out pumpkin, fit for a Disney princess.

We’re Having a Fiesta!

Candy Cane Fiesta Collage WatermarkedAs we barrel towards Christmas and the upcoming new year, you’re going to be seeing a lot of best-of lists and retrospectives on 2014’s top this, that and the other thing. I always enjoy sifting through end-of-the-year wrap-ups – there’s a little something for everyone, and it’s a great opportunity, particularly in the world of nail polish and nail art, to shore up your loves (and sometimes loathes) with other like-minded bloggers, writers and reviewers to see where there’s overlap (who didn’t love holos this year?) and where you’re clearly ahead of the curve (chunky, pea green glitter? Really?)

So I thought I’d add my two cents to the discussion with this ode to my favourite polish of 2014, Candy Lacquer’s mega glitter bomb, Candy Cane Fiesta. The name alone may scream “Christmas!”, to say nothing of the predominately red, green and white mix of mostly matte glitters, a reputation only enhanced by the little baggie of snowflake, candy cane and Christmas tree glitter Candy Lacquer provides alongside the polish, but Candy Cane Fiesta is one of those rare, festively-themed nail polishes that has proven to be a real chameleon, displaying tons of utility well beyond the holiday season.

Here I’ve shown four manicures featuring Candy Cane Fiesta, a Christmas-in-the-tropics gradient, sticky, drippy fruitcake nails, Santa’s Orlando retirement nails and one of my favourite manis of the past year, a simple glitter-on-creme manicure that looks like strawberry ice cream with sprinkles! And we all know how I feel about sprinkles around here (sprinkles, yes; funfetti, NOOOOO.)

I just love the stuff, and I’m pleased as punch that I finally bought it (it was one of those ones I was weirdly on the fence about.) The mix of glitters is fantastic (every shape and size imaginable), the colours are vibrant and fresh (red, green and white, yes, but holo red, matte tomato, lime green and iridescent white, too) and the consistency is fabulous (loaded, but not dry or unwieldy.) What’s there not to love?

Their shop is now closed for the holiday season, but in the new year if you’d like to get in on this little love fest, you can find Candy Lacquer’s offerings here.

Why Are There So Many Posts About Rainbows?

I was recently admiring some freshly completed rainbow gradient nails when it occurred to me that out of the 250-odd manicures I’ve done over the past six months (well, doesn’t that look obsessively horrifying when it’s written out like that) a GOOD percentage of them feature all the colours of the rainbow.  I just seem to like rainbow designs (which would not be news if you checked out my Pinterest page, which is 50 percent renovation ideas and DIY projects I’ll never get around to completing, 10 percent jello shot recipes and 40 percent rainbow coloured things.)  What’s more, YOU seem to like rainbow designs as well; my most popular posts have been for designs featuring the full spectrum of this world’s beautiful colours.

So with that in mind, and on this day when, outside of Pride Weekend, rainbows get the most play, I thought I’d take a look back at some of my favourite rainbow designs, ranging from high fashion nails I did just a couple of months into this nail art odyssey to St. Patrick’s Day nails I did just a couple of days ago.  Please join me on this little trip down memory lane, and may you all find gold at the end of your rainbows today!