I was swatching the base polish I used for these nails, Picture Polish’s shimmer-flecked nude, Cherish, when I thought lovely and delicate though Cherish is, it’s really kind of boring. So then I added a couple of coats of Revlon’s Moon Candy iridescent flakies in Eclipse, which I thought would give the nude base a shimmering, opalescent look. Which they did, very much so, although, parenthetically, FRUSTRATION, THY NAME IS FLAKIE! The darn things NEVER want to lie flat on the nail, even after multiple layers of a high gloss top coat, and nearly all of them have issues hardening up, another problem that trumps a quality topcoat. But pretty? SO pretty, and worth their inherent frustration, at least in the short term.
As the final, finishing touch, I dropped a gold-toned, “gemstone” encrusted star charm from Daily Charme onto my ring finger, its opalescent stones perfectly mimicking the delicate, colour-shifting flakies (which themselves occasionally flash gold, depending on the quality of the light.)
I love nail polish. I love buying nail polish. I probably love buying nail polish a bit too much. However, two years and 300 plus bottles of lacquer later, I’m growing tired of shelling out my money for a tiny bottle of glittery, toxic paint that I will use perhaps twice. I’m not talking here, of course, about the cremes and holos and glitters that I use every day in various types of nail art, more the niche polishes that have one very specific purpose and season in which to shine (I’m thinking here of the glitter I own that looks like a blended Christmas tree – it never looks like anything but a blended Christmas tree. Pretty, but useless outside of the holiday season.)
So when I recently became enamoured with a shimmery, nude flakie polish from Digital Nails called The Dude Abides, I decided to forgo the PayPal transaction and see if I could create my own version using polishes already in my collection. And you know what? I could. And so I did! The Dude Abides (named after The Big Lebowski, a movie I actually LOATHE) is a nude crelly shot through with chromatic rainbow flakies. The PolishAholic has a great swatch of it here.
To get a similar look, I sandwiched one layer of Polish Me Silly’s Party Hearty, a multichrome flakie topper, between two coats of KB Shimmer’s pale nude holo, In Bare Form. In Bare Form is actually quite opaque and covered up a bit more of the flakies than I liked, and so I brushed on one final, light coat of Party Hearty, which added beautiful shimmer and great overall depth. My DIY version of The Dude Abides is a bit glitzier than the original, on account of the extra layer of vibrant, colour-shifting flakies, but I think it’s a better-than-serviceable imposter.
So the next time you’re eyeing up that beautiful, but impractical, polish, take a moment to root through your lacquer collection first to see how close you might be to cobbling together the exact same look from polishes you already own. Your bank account (and inevitable lack of storage; no one has enough storage) will thank you for it!
Not that I objected to having someone else hold the creative reins for the past month of the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge, but there’s a delightful sense of liberation that has come with knowing that I can paint WHATEVER I WANT (at least for the next month until September’s 31 Day Challenge begins.) And what I want right now, nail art-wise, is something simple with major kick – something pretty, glittery and beautifully eye-catching.
And so to accomplish just that, I looked to a favourite rainbow flakie polish, Polish Me Silly’s Stop Flaking On Me. I have sung its praises before, but it’s a sentiment worth repeating – Stop Flaking On Me is a fabulous polish, aesthetically and, almost more importantly, in terms of its formulation, which is flawless. Stop Flaking On Me applies beautifully, to be sure, but most impressively, it also removes well – just like the creme polish you most likely layered it over (here OPI’s Fanta-hued A Grape Affair from their Coca-Cola Collection.) That’s the beauty of the colour-shifting chromatic flakies – they do not stick to your nails during (and after) removal like iridescent flakies will. And what of that fun, chromatic colour-shift? Well, it’s awesome, of course! To say nothing of Stop Flaking On Me’s native state, which I think looks like many, many, many rainbow-coloured foils ground up in a blender and added to a bottle of suspension base (for anyone curious, that’s a good thing!)
This simple manicure features one of my favourite high impact, low effort nail art techniques, with a bit of a flakie twist. Here I brushed on two coats of a super high shine black polish before topping it with two coats of ILNP’s chromatic flakie, Electric Carnival, in one strip directly down the centre of each nail. I then topped the whole works with one coat of Seche Vite to enrich the shine and deepen all that gorgeous, colour-shifting flakie goodness. Aaaannnndddd that was it, the end! Dead easy, right? I wish I had more to add, but that’s the beauty of this kind of manicure, so let’s not question it too much, okay?!
I will add that ILNP’s flakies provide full coverage in two coats all on their own, although I prefer pairing them with a dark base in this elongating, less-is-more approach. I also like the way darker polishes offset the colour-shifting flakies, throwing off beautiful chromatic rainbows without being ridiculously over the top. Remember, a good manicure means never having to say, “I’m sorry I blinded you with my nails.”
Early on in my nail art adventures Mr. Finger Candy floated the nice, but ultimately impractical, suggestion that I concentrate my polish buying power on one single brand. He didn’t know at the time – hey, neither did I – that there are roughly 8,657 different nail polish manufacturers out there, each one trying something just a little bit different from the somethings their neighbours are trying. It’s like a super glittery version of the Wild West, with your wallet acting as the spoils of a victorious high noon shoot-out. A nice idea (and I am nothing if not brand loyal; I’ve used naught but Clean & Clear face wash for the past 20 years), but one manufacturer cannot satisfy all polish needs. Besides, would you really want it to? Life’s not worth living if you don’t have choice (having said all that, too much choice is practically debilitating. Am I the only one who feels like she’s having a panic attack in the yogurt aisle at the grocery store? Why is there so much yogurt? Why is all of it suddenly Greek? Why do half the brands contain Aspartame? What happened to basic old fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt? Wither the yogurt? WITHER THE YOGURT?!?)
Tangents about dairy products aside, this manicure, a well-hidden teal and purple gradient topped with three different brands’ worth of iridescent flakies, really employs that whole “polish for the people” philosophy. Sure, it would have been nice if I could have gotten this effect out of one bottle of polish (which I clearly don’t own, or else I wouldn’t have been cherry-picking), but I like the every-manufacturer-for-themselves approach, too – it’s always satisfying to know I can cobble together a current look from polishes I already own without yet more financial and storage outlay.
For these super flaked out nails, I topped a can’t-see-it-at-all gradient of Nails Inc.’s blackened teal, Kensington, and China Glaze’s dark plum, Urban-Night, with one coat of China Glaze’s orangey-gold flakie, Luxe and Lush, one coat of Revlon’s blue Moon Candy flakie, Eclipse, and one coat of Nails Inc.’s yellowy-green Special Effects flakie, The Wyndham. It would undoubtedly be easier to just purchase a bottle of rainbow flakies – same effect, less work, less polish! – but if you’re on the fence like I am (I’m just not fond of iridescent flakies; they wear terribly, never seem to fully dry and stick up in maddening lumps) you probably already have the components available in your stash to achieve a very similar look, spread around though they may be!
I happen to think this multichrome flakie polish, ILNP’s Supernova, looks best over darker colours, but I couldn’t let the opportunity to make a sweet Oasis joke just pass me by when I had this beautiful, champagne-hued polish, KB Shimmer’s In Bare Form, just sitting there waiting for precisely this moment. What can I say; my stash has excellent comedic timing.
A small word about Oasis. One of my all time favourite bands. Until I saw them live. They were awful. So awful, I have been reduced to speaking only in clipped, authoritative sentence fragments. It was a really bad show, in no small part owing to the brothers Gallagher looking like they were about two seconds from throwing down, which turned out to be a weirdly prophetic thought, as two days later the band broke up for what indeed seems to be for good. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, having never seen Oasis perform on, say, television, but I guarantee you it was more than the lackadaisical, pompous little dandies that paraded around on stage in front of me. Or not, because they barely moved. Only Liam – ostensibly their lead singer, the charisma man – would periodically saunter to the front of the stage and then point at pretty girls in the audience, miming the ringy-ding motion, setting up his booty calls for later on, I suppose. And they were loud, SO LOUD. Sonic, all-encompassing and totally devoid of any true feeling or connection. A huge letdown. And guys? I have seen some hella sketchy live shows. Those are all stories for another day (about 100 stories – I have been to a lot of concerts) but let’s put it this way – Oasis ranks higher on the Suck-o-Meter than Hole, a show I actually walked out on halfway through because I had gotten heat stroke earlier in the day and just couldn’t deal with Courtney Love’s crazed, pantsless banshee wailing. Seriously, someone get that woman some underpants and a monitor that actually allows her to hear herself.
Yesterday’s post showing off the colour-shifting beauty of I Love Nail Polish’s Electric Carnival proved so popular (“WOWZA” was the general consensus in the comments) I thought I’d come at you today with another beauty from their ultra chrome collection, this time the sublimely peacock-hued Supernova.
Everything great about Electric Carnival thankfully holds true for Supernova – gorgeous colour-shift, smooth, even application, lightning fast removal – although Supernova’s somewhat tone-on-tone (on tone) green-to-turquoise-to-purple-leaning flakies don’t throw off the same insane rainbows as Electric Carnival, a small nit to pick for an otherwise gorgeous polish! Fans of the “mermaid look” will also like this polish – the colour-shift is actually quite Ariel. 🙂
Across the vast, multi-coloured nail polish landscape, Flakie Fever continues its relentless march towards total lacquer domination completely unabated. There’s a flakie polish for seemingly every look, from iridescent, colour-shifting glass shards to of-the-moment metallic multichromes.
Still primarily the domain of the indie polish market (you know how this goes – look for flakies to appear in your favourite commercial lines in about two years’ time) flakies are king, and indie polish manufacturer I Love Nail Polish (ILNP) is producing some of the best.
This is Electric Carnival, a plum-to-gold-to-green “ultra chrome” stuffed with colour-shifting metallic flakies. The colour change in this one is quite pronounced, particularly when layered over black, as I’ve shown here, although you could absolutely build it up to full opacity in two coats on its own. The consistency itself is a touch thick compared to other flakie toppers, with that perhaps being the difference right there – other similar flakies I’ve purchased have been glitter toppers, whereas Electric Carnival is a true full coverage polish. But aside from the gorgeous rainbow effect these polishes produce – Electric Carnival in particular, with its touches of indigo blue at the furthest edge of the spectrum – I think my favourite thing about these metallic flakies is the ease with which they’re removed. Unlike iridescent flakies, which have the aggravating habit of sticking resolutely to your bare nails many days and manicures later, these ultra chrome flakies wipe right off just like a regular creme polish, a time (and sanity) saving advancement in nail polish manufacturing.
Electric Carnival has a lot of gorgeous sisters, I regret to inform your wallets. But if you think you can exercise even an ounce of self-restraint (or not – self-restraint is overrated when it comes to buying polish) you can find ILNP’s gorgeous products here.
Polishes like this one, Layla’s Ceramic Effect nail polish in the rather unimaginatively named EI41, always remind me of tiny embers smouldering away in the depths of a fire that’s almost, but not quite, out. Stuffed with red-to-green-to-gold colour-shifting glass flakies in a purple jelly base, EI41 (or possibly CE52, or perhaps The Butterfly Effect; both numbers appear on the bottle, one on the top and the other on the bottom, while The Butterfly Effect appears as a name on online stocklists only) has real depth and dimension, although the eye-searing rainbow effect that typically happens when glass flakies meet a jewel-toned jelly is somewhat dulled here, perhaps because of the rich, deep hue of the base. But as always, I’m delighted by a polish that actually looks better in the shade as opposed to directly in a blazing beam of sunlight. So many nail polishes are geared towards showing their best sides in sunshine only, which does a real disservice to the other 22 hours of the day when we’re otherwise indoors and not contorting our hands into the weirdest possible upside down angle in order to best appreciate our nails.
This polish, wacky issues with nomenclature aside, was a bit of a find, tucked away in a darkened corner of the multichrome section on Nail Polish Canada‘s website where no one seemed to know it existed. But I found it and it’s now mine, all mine (there is no escape, resistance is futile, YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!, etc.)
I knew this manicure, a purple-on-black gradient topped with blue-leaning, iridescent flakies, was going to look cool, but I had no idea the little blue flakies would pull so much light from the dark polish and glow neon blue! It’s such a cool effect – like tiny LED lights for your nails – and one that remains that way no matter the angle of your hand, the quality of the light or, apparently, your choice of matte or shiny topcoat. Neat!
Here I’ve shown a touch-too-dark gradient of OPI’s purple Do You Have This Color in Stock-holm? over Pure Ice’s Black Out, topped with the blue flakies from Revlon’s double-ended Moon Candy polish in Orbit. And going for two different looks from the same mani, I sealed the whole works off first with a coat of ultra shiny Seche Vite before finishing up with a coat of Essie’s satiny Matte About You. Either way, the light from the iridescent flakes blazes through, elevating this simple glitter-on-gradient manicure above the of-the-moment flakie fray.