No, Christmas Tree (When Manis Get Ugly)

No, Christmas Tree HandWhen I chose this lacquer, Polish Me Silly’s green glitter and everything else X-Mas Me Silly, as an un-favourite for week four’s theme of least favourite polish in the February N.A.I.L. Challenge, I had no idea it would lead me towards what is perhaps the ugliest manicure I’ve ever done. But not to worry – it was all on purpose!

The general theme here is my neighbour’s Christmas tree, which from my vantage point in my livingroom I can see plain as day in his. News to absolutely no one, but it is the end of February. That is some quality laziness right there (although my husband thinks he might be a snowbird, and took off for warmer climes immediately after the holidays.) The thing is undoubtedly artificial, which would partially explain its livingroom longevity, but can you imagine if it’s not? Dead/wood City, that’s what.

So with X-Mas Me Silly, a too-much-of-a-good-thing glitter from Polish Me Silly’s 2014 holiday collection, acting as my least favourite chosen one, I drew inspiration from my neighbour’s everlasting ode to the holidays and came up with this gradient mani that’s meant to look like a Christmas tree starting to brown around the edges.

Which would have been ugly enough all on its own had I not chosen to use two other polishes on my hit list of hate, Essence’s bile-hued L.O.L. and OPI’s brown A-Taupe the Space Needle. I colloquially refer to these two as “Neon Pee” and “Electric Baby Poo.” These are some of the ugliest colours in existence, although oddly enough, I use them both for nail art detail work all the time.

But I maybe should have left them out of this doomed-from-the-start mani, because the combination of lumpy X-Mas Me Silly over the sickeningly-coloured L.O.L. and under the greenish-tinged A-Taupe the Space Needle is a truly horrendous one. It reminds me of a Christmas tree all right – a Christmas tree in a basement that’s backed up with about two and a half feet of sewer water. This was a super fun challenge prompt, but I can’t wait to scrape this green gunge off my nails!

The offending parties’ mugshots:Ugly Collage

Mermaid Tears

Mermaid Tears HandI dug this lacquer, Polish Me Silly’s Mermaid Tears, out of my stash yesterday in the hopes of using it in service of the final week’s prompt in February’s N.A.I.L. Challenge. The theme was least favourite polish, and seeing as my true least favourites (very few, thankfully) are presently gracing a landfill just outside of town, that left Mermaid Tears, a green-on-green thermal jelly sprinkled with green holographic circle glitter. I’ve had this polish for a little over a year now, and application has never been anything but a pain. The large circle glitter – lots of it, and clearly visible in the bottle – resolutely refuses to come unstuck from the sides of the bottle, no matter how long you leave it upside down, and the chartreuse-to-jade thermal jelly remains stubbornly sheer, withstanding any attempts at opacity. It was a disappointment, and being an online-only indie purchase, a not inexpensive one, which is the only reason it’s been granted a stay of execution this long. I figured I’d give it one more chance to not do its thing for this challenge prompt before sending it off to the big stash in the sky.

Which is of course the moment Mermaid Tears decided to pull itself together and become the polish I always hoped it would be. Don’t you hate it when that happens? It’s like those times my computer whiffs the big one seemingly for me and me only, because the second I show Mr. Finger Candy IT Support, it’s all “Hey, no problems here. Look at me runnin’ all fancy!” and I want to dropkick it across the room.

But I really have no complaints here. A polish I once liked enough to buy is now behaving the way it was always supposed to – huzzah! And I had to chuckle a bit when I looked down at one point and saw TWO large green circles stuck to my brush, because of course. 🙂 And I don’t know what weird confluence of events or conditions led to it finally behaving (although it is still so, so sheer) but I’ll take it! So back to the drawing board on this least favourite thing, because Mermaid Tears actually redeemed itself pretty nicely.Mermaid Tears Fingers

Sugar Skulls

Sugar Skulls HandIridescent, glittery sweet sugar skulls for week three’s theme of skulls in February’s N.A.I.L. Challenge. Two more of Mentality’s gorgeous jellychromes, turquoise Shindig and hot pink Hoopla, act as the perfect background polishes, their colour-shifting glass shimmer adding beautiful shading and depth to my first-time ever sugar skull mani.

I Love You Beary Much

Beary Nice HandBecause teddy bears need love come Valentine’s Day, too, here’s a much loved bear surrounded by wee hearts that comes straight from the heart – literally, because I made this glitter polish! All nail art bears should be so lucky, Valentine’s Day or no, to be sharing space with one of my favourite homemade creations, Sweet Weege! Every one of the handful of polishes I’ve made are a labour of love (and sometimes accidental chemical fume inhalation), which seems quite befitting V-Day (the lovin’, that is, not the huffin’…although on that point, I guess it all depends on how your Valentine’s Day goes, right?) Beary nice! 😉Beary Nice Fingers

What’s the Theme?

February-2015A new month (give or take a few days) means all new Nail Art Idea Linkup challenge themes. Time to break out some of my newer acquisitions and see if I can make some nail art magic happen. If you’re playing along at home, here are February’s prompts. I’m particularly looking forward to week four’s theme of least favourite polish. I’m assuming the ladies of N.A.I.L. don’t mean those polishes you hate because of some sort of defect, because if that’s the case, there’s a landfill on the outskirts of town that needs sifting through. But if we’re talking an unfortunate colour or just something you thought was going to be more than the sum of its disappointing parts…oh man, have I got some doozies! This should be fun. 🙂

Week one’s prompt was hot pink. I already use a lot of hot pink in my manicures, so this one was in the bag. You can find my entry, along with tons of other great manis, here.

Just Desserts

JustDessertsRightI have become quite enamored as of late with Instagrammer passionforbaking‘s account, which features beautiful photos of the incredible baked goods she produces on a daily basis (oh sure, I get up and fire off two loaves of country white and a pan of edible gold-flecked cupcakes before dawn every day, don’t you?) as well as snapshots of her absolutely drop dead gorgeous kitchen, which I very nearly covet in the biblical sense of the word. Decorated entirely in shades of baby pink, icy turquoise and cream and bearing more than a passing resemblance to the idealized version of the 1950s kitchen (turquoise and white checkered linoleum floors, chrome-rimmed tables, turquoise pleather diner stools and polka dots aplenty), it’s a pastiche that somehow manages to sidestep any twee obnoxiousness that might otherwise come along with a 1950s style kitchen outfitted entirely in shades of Easter egg.

So when I recently purchased these sweet little fimo cane decals, I thought it might be fun to copy a bit of passionforbaking’s fantastic culinary and decorating style, but on my nails. I have no doubt her creations are about 8,000 times yummier than the goodies I’ve laid out here (although I barely notice the food, so enchanted am I by her kitchen), although I think I got the overall aesthetic right, particularly the tiny little Jadeite cake stands holding my fimo sweets aloft. Just about good enough to eat!

Mad Splatter

Mad Splatter

Existentialist query on par with “If a tree falls in the forest” and “If a bear poops in the woods”: Can it be considered a glitter if it doesn’t, you know, glitter?

These nails, my entry in the fourth and final week of the February N.A.I.L. Challenge for the theme of glitter, feature a polish I’ve turned to time and time again, Candy Lacquer’s matte Licorice Allsorts. It’s the first indie polish I ever purchased, and I’ve found uses for it in favourite foodie designs ranging from sprinkled frosting to watermelons to actual licorice allsorts. Here, against a backdrop of pale grey shot through with pink shimmer, Essence’s Grey-t to be Here, it takes on a splatter-like effect that’s a little bit sweet, a little bit punk and a whole lot something I’ll absolutely have to try again.

Glitter and Gradients

Glitter and Gradients

Here in eastern Ontario we’ve suffered through approximately 9 billion (give or take) snowstorms, ice storms and slush storms this winter, all creating minor bits of chaos throughout the city and casting a pall of bumminess across just about everything we do. So imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning to mild(er) temperatures and that whiff of defrosting dog poo (you know the smell) that signals that spring might actually be just around the corner. Or perhaps the next corner. Then take a left, hang a right, go down the stairs and spring will be behind the door dead ahead, I promise.

So with an added spring(time) in my step, and looking for a gradient-based submission for the third week of the February N.A.I.L. Challenge, I did these almost-seasonal nails, although with their rich colour palette and eye-searing holographic glitter, I think I may have bypassed spring entirely and jumped straight to summer. Tomay-toe, toma-toe, right?

Oh crap. A dispatch from the enemy (translation: The Weather Network) tells me that my city is expected to receive about 12 solid hours of freezing rain, starting tonight! Sigh. Looks like I’ll be in need of more “No, really, will this winter ever end?” manis, and stat.

Bee Mine

Bee Mine

To paraphrase Ralph Wiggum of the Simpsons, “And there’s a picture of a bee!” That’s right, folks, nothing but high level, intellectual jokes about a holiday that’s now over on this blog! All the stale bon mots you can handle right here, and if you act now, I’ll throw in some funnies about Christmas, or maybe even Halloween! How’s about that?

These nails, my final Valentine’s design, represent my entry in the February N.A.I.L. Challenge for the theme of – you guessed it – Valentine’s Day. And what better way to honour the day (albeit a day late) than with a groaney old pun and a little loved up honeybee?

Devilled Eggs

Devilled Eggs

These nails, my submission for the first week of the February N.A.I.L. Challenge, are very much “what you see is what you get” (cartoon devilled eggs with Christian Slater’s eyebrows over top of my favourite red, Picture Polish’s O’Hara, of course.) But in case you were curious as to how I got to evil 1950s hors d’oeuvres when the challenge theme was “Red,” here’s a peek into my decision-making process:

“Eggs wearing suits would be funny. Ohmigod, RED suits! Devil suits! Devilled eggs! With Christian Slater’s eyebrows!” And scene. See, it’s really just as easy as that! 😉

All joking aside, my devilish eggs here would not look half as charming (and furious) were it not for the beautiful and thematically appropriate background they’re resting upon, O’Hara, a stunningly gorgeous, juicy red polish from Picture Polish that’s hands (and nails) down one of my top five favourite polishes.