Inspiration for this manicure originated with a beautiful raven I saw preening in the sun the other morning, her glossy feathers throwing off gorgeous, oil slick rainbows. Then I got my hands on my Polish Me Silly multi-chromes (colour-shifting metallic polishes that look like the coolest paint job on a car you’ve ever seen) and suddenly these nails were less raven and more parrot, but still one of the more beautiful manicures I’ve done this year. So pretty.
I haven’t purchased many nail polishes this year, and those that I have bought have primarily been replacements (on my fourth bottle of OPI’s My Vampire is Buff, for instance.) But early this year I splashed out on a whole pile of Polish Me Silly multi-chromes, and they’ve since proven themselves, in manicure after manicure, to be some of the greatest polishes I’ve ever owned. A very good nail art investment.
For these feathered nails, I used three of Polish Me Silly’s multi-chromes over a black creme base, purple-to-turquoise Paradise, jade green-to-indigo Dreamer and golden green-to-plum Mystery. Multi-chromes tend to look like about four different polishes at once, an effect that’s really amplified by pairing them with a simple black polish. Then all you have to do is learn to stop staring at your pretty, pretty hands!
Toronto’s annual Caribbean Carnival, a three-week bonanza showcasing Caribbean art, culture, music, food and big, honkin’, feather-adorned parade costumes, actually wrapped up last weekend, but its spirit lives on in this manicure, which was inspired by one of the gorgeous feathered headdresses I saw on a fabulously bejeweled (and befeathered) attendee. You can find great photos of some of the costumed revelers in this CBC article here. So beautiful – like exotic, turquoise-tinged birds (here a new favourite polish of mine, OPI’s Sailing & Nail-ing.)
A quick word, though, about the pink shimmer/frost/creme hybrid I used here, Pure Ice’s Peony – love the colour, love the way it applies (like silk), hate the fact that it gives my nails lumps and bumps where there are actually none, even after a thick coat of a super smoothing topcoat and base coat. Bit of a bummer, that.
Day 22’s theme of feathers in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge felt like a welcome palette cleanser after last week’s barrage of difficult (Ikat? Glitter placement? Negative space? What madness is this?) Feather designs are relatively easy ones, and best of all, even if your brush work is less than exemplary, it really works with the mani, because a little roughness keeps them looking real. Seriously, don’t let it ruffle your feathers. (*groan*)
My first go at avian nail art, courtesy of this week’s N.A.I.L. challenge prompt, birds! Shame the tubby little guy on my ring finger is twice the size of the one on my middle finger. Looks like somebody got greedy with the seed bell.
There are some very posh, sophisticated feather designs out there. This is not one of them! It’s like a majestic, lacquered bird rising out of the ashes of a burn-your-eyes tacky fire. So much chrome holo and glitter, Liberace thinks I should have backed off a notch or two.
Regenerative disco birdie inspiration notwithstanding, the base colour I chose for these nails, Sally Hansen’s Lustre Shine in Lava, is a gorgeous, inexpensive and beautifully unique shade in a holo market flooded with blues, greens, purples and every variation in between. Best of all, it’s bound to be available at your local drugstore or beauty supply shop, because Sally Hansen is Legion. It just doesn’t get any easier than that. 🙂
It’s hard to go wrong with a peacock feather design. Or is this more fireworks? Well, I guess you *can* go wrong; simply make your design indistinguishable as between a bird and an incendiary device. Either way, it’s quite a show!