Metallic Roses

Metallic Roses Again

New goal in life: Live long enough for it to be acceptable as an old woman to run around in an embroidered turquoise leisure suit bearing THIS print!

I assure you I did not intend for these nails to turn out quite this way, but this manicure is so terrifically 1970s. I almost feel like my paternal grandmother had a belted polyester leisure suit (with slightly flared pants) featuring an embroidered rose print.  That must be where I got the just-accidentally-fell-into-it inspiration for these nails.  Also, not for nothing, but if that’s true, nice one, Grandma – it’s a whole lot of look, and I totally love it!

Metallic Roses

 

 

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#TahaniTime

#TahaniTime

Anybody else out there watching The Good Place?  Very funny (and sweet, and enlightening, and thought-provoking) half-hour sitcom starring Kristen Bell as Eleanor, a woman who, upon her completely ignoble death – flattened by a boner pill truck while bending down to retrieve an errant bottle of Lonely Gal Margarita Mix that had rolled out of her shopping cart – is sent to The Good Place, a heaven-ish type neighbourhood filled with nothing but pleasant people, pleasant surroundings and pleasant, pleasant pleasantness, instead of The Bad Place, where she most likely belongs.  Because Eleanor in life was kind of a dick, although her time in The Good Place really begins to bring her around.

Anyhow, tangent there, because this manicure has nothing to do with Eleanor, but rather Eleanor’s gorgeous glamazon of a next door neighbour, British socialite and It Girl Tahani Al-Jamil (played by actress Jameela Jamil, who I’ve never seen in anything before, and I simply don’t know how, because she’s just fantastic.)

Tahani actually begins The Good Place as Eleanor’s nemesis, a smothering and seemingly insincere neighbour who makes everybody’s business her business and name-drops more often than she blinks.  But Tahani’s also deeply insecure, and all the mentions in the world – that time she brokered a peace accord between her friend Kanye, her good friend Taylor and her best friend Beyonce, the year she spent as Baz Luhrmann’s muse, the $60 billion she raised for charity – can’t compensate for a lifetime of emotional cruelty from her cold socialite parents.  But lord, does Tahani try.  Tries Eleanor’s patience, for one, although it quickly becomes clear that Tahani is the real deal – a genuinely good (if occasionally insufferable) person who lives – and lived – to help others.  And hey, if she could snog Ryan Gosling at the Met Ball while she was doing that – twice – then so much the better!  It’s hard to stay mad at that, and by the end of the first season (second season coming soon!) Tahani and Eleanor consider themselves friends.

One of my favourite things about Tahani, though, is her gigantic, enviable wardrobe of flouncy and floral – girlfriend wears an honest to goodness Belle dress to a first-night gathering in The Good Place, hosted by her, of course, because ain’t no party like a Tahani Al-Jamil party!  She’s quite the fashion plate (although she laments that her modelling career was so regrettably short-lived; seems her bosom was simply too ample for couture, the poor dear.)

These nails depict one of the many, many, many floral dresses Tahani wears on her adventures about The Good Place, a dusky blue number she pairs with a floppy, wide-brimmed hat, afternoon gloves and a picnic basket (stuffed with morale-boosting maple butter scones she passes out to the other residents following a bit of neighbourhood strife.)

Anyhow, big recommendation on The Good Place.  It also stars Ted Danson, and another group of fabulous unknowns – William Jackson Harper, D’Arcy Carden and Manny Jacinto among them, and they’re all freaking hilarious (particularly D’Arcy Carden, who plays Janet, a Siri/Alexa-like informational assistant in The Good Place.)  Trust me, just watch it – it’s great. 🙂

Tulip Fest

Tulip Fest Angle

The Canadian Tulip Festival is a thing that happens in my fair hometown of Ottawa, Ontario every May, a grand, sprawling celebration of, among other things, the 100,000 tulip bulbs the Dutch royal family gifted to Canada in 1945 as thanks for sheltering a princess and her daughters during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.  The great-great-great-great-great-great-to-whatever-infinity grand-flowers of those original tulips have blossomed every spring here in the Nation’s Capital (or not; sometimes we still get snow at this time of year) since 1953.  As a kid I’d go every couple of years with my parents or perhaps on a school trip, but I haven’t been since high school, when the festival was overflowing with awesome alternative music acts (Tulipalooza was the jam) and a ludicrous number of opportunities to meet cute, grungy boys (once again, thank you Tulipalooza!)

The Canadian Tulip Fest actually just wrapped up its 2017 season, so the artists, the musicians and the Big Lemon have all left the building, but the tulips – over a million spread out in vast beds across the city – are still here, and doing really quite well in our deeply unpredictable spring weather.  So I thought I’d do some nails to commemorate the commemoration of the tulips that commemorate the very special relationship between Canada and the Netherlands.  Phew!

And this has been your Canadian nail art history moment.  Please join me next time when I recount how my family is related to Laura Secord, a war heroine who actually has nothing to do with the chocolate empire that bears her name.  But for now, the tulips!

Tulip Fest Front

I See Your True (Water)colours

Brilliant Blaze Collage

These Incoco nail strips in Brilliant Burst, a “Hey, I didn’t know I had these!” find, look just like a delicate, pastel watercolour.  It’s a very pretty look for what’s shaping up to be a warm Victoria Day long weekend.

But nail strips are a funny animal – a product I was really super into when I first started dabbling about in this nail art business.  Incoco’s nail appliques were a particular favourite – criminally easy to apply, made from real nail polish and available in an absolute ton of fun shades and finishes.  But as I started getting handier with a detail brush, I began phasing out the nail strips.  Why buy that which I can probably create better myself?

But for newbies, hesitant amateurs or anyone else who just doesn’t want to spend two hours on a single nail art design?  You can’t beat ’em.  Nail strips are available from all sorts of companies, but I really like Incoco’s – the quality is excellent (they adhere to your nails very well without pulling up too much at the edges) and the design choices are thoughtful and current without being needlessly trendy.  If you’re interested in a truly no-fuss, set-it-and-forget-it mani, I’d try Incoco’s fun offerings – and you can find them here. 🙂

Brilliant Blaze Angled

More Power to the Flower

Fleurs

Because those April showers have to pay off somehow, right?  And I’m pretty sure the record flooding my city has seen over the past week (in a condo apartment on high ground, I am thankfully immune) is not what that tired old expression originally contemplated.  Strength to my less fortunate neighbours, with the vehement hope that the waters finally begin to recede.  Until then, more flowers, fewer showers.

Lipstick Love

lipstick-main-photo

Feeling impulsive, I recently picked up a little treat for myself in the form of this gorgeous gold flake-sprinkled lipstick from Kalijumei, a Chinese beauty brand completely off my radar until Harlow & Co. began carrying them some weeks back.  That’s when I jumped on this beauty, Kalijumei’s Flower Jelly Lipstick in Flame Red, a way upmarket mood lipstick that changes colour based on your body temperature.

I’m actually making this all sound a LOT less glamorous than it actually is, which is quite – this luxurious lipstick, with its real gold flakes, gorgeous floral core and elevated price tag ($28.99 Canadian, eh) bears this one out as a very special purchase.  Even the scent of this light pink gloss feels lush and plush – the intoxicating, but ever elusive, fragrance of vintage, high end cosmetics.  I can’t deny that I feel undeniably glamorous when I swipe on Flame Red’s sheer pink wash, like a movie star from the golden age of Hollywood.

A tiny footnote regarding the Inspector Gadget-like tube, however: The lipstick is released from its mirrored case by depressing the inlaid button on the top of the tube (very ninja; I love the spy work aspect to its design.) But if you’re not careful, as I was, and you don’t roll the lipstick all the way down before putting it back in the tube, it WILL bump up against the top of the case the next time you depress the release.  Which affects the lipstick itself not one iota, I know, I know!  But a blogging and photography bummer all the same.

lipstick-tubes-collage

Texture-wise, Red Flame applies and wears like an ultra light lipgloss, imparting a sheer wash of colour that morphed from a light pink to a medium berry depending on my temperature.  I didn’t find the colour change hugely noticeable, although there was some visible difference in tone.  In this photo, which I took outdoors, you can really see the rosy tinge to this lipstick, in addition to that gorgeous little floral core.

lipstick-up-close-3

Speaking of those little floral centrepieces, having used this lipstick for only the briefest of moments, I can’t speak to how well they’re going to hold up over the long run.  I suspect things are going to get somewhat dicey when I reach the halfway mark.  But until then, let’s just enjoy the gorgeous, luxe design of a unique beauty product done so very right. Such a lovely treat; I’m so glad I splurged.

lipstick-up-close-collage

If you also feel like treating yourself, these Kalijumei lipsticks are still in stock over at Harlow & Co.  There are four shades on offer, including a tantalizing coral and a perfect purple and a…you know what?  I think they’d all be pretty fantastic.  Go get it, girl. 🙂