Granite and Graphics

Granite and Graphics Fingers

Closing out the weekend with these simple geometric nails featuring two accent nails in a polish that makes everything it touches look a bit like pavement, or a very fine granite counter top, Chaotic by Formula X by Sephora.

Wishing you all the best end to the week, friends.  A demain!

Glittery 4th

Glittery 4thHappy 4th of July, American nail art fanatics! And it’s a great day for nail art, too – lots of fun, festive designs kicking around the interwebs over the past few days (including my own vintage, deconstructed take on the American flag.)

Miraculously enough, I possess no red, white and blue glitter polish. Buuuuutttt, I do have a matte blue glitter (Formula X for Sephora’s TNT) and a scented, red and white glitter (KB Shimmer’s Candy Cane Crush) that make for a pretty fantastic and holiday-appropriate substitute when combined and layered over top a bright, summery polish like this one, OPI’s No Room for the Blues. The resulting effort is a fun, looks-harder-than-it-was, splatter-type effect that’s perfect for showing off, no matter what shenanigans you find yourself up to this 4th (and you needn’t tell anybody how easy they were; much like that dip recipe that everyone fawns over even though it’s nothing more than a tub of sour cream and four types of MSG, keep this one to yourself! Some secrets are not meant to be shared!)

Don’t Be So Negative

Don't Be So Negative

What’s black is white is red (all over?) in this simple, glitter-based manicure that flips between the dark and the light (with just a touch of peppermint-scented red, because hey, just like your nails, life’s not always black and white…nor does it always smell all that great!)



A favourite indie polish maker, Polish Me Silly, is a few days away from a big launch of neon glitter toppers, one or two of which already have my name alllll over them.  But until I actually have them in my hot little hands, I’ll just have to make do with frankening together some close-but-not-quite copies that make use of my pre-existing stash.

Here, to get the look of Polish Me Silly’s new black-and-neon Trouble Maker, I topped two glow in the dark polishes, Serum No. 5’s Blue Blazes and Pure Glow Getter, with a mixture of Polish Me Silly’s neon Freckles and Sephora Formula X’s black and white Chaotic.  It’s not a perfect match, but close in this case actually counts for more than just horseshoes and hand grenades. 😉

Just for fun, here are two photos of Pure Glow Getter and Blue Blazes doing their glow-in-the-dark thing.  I had high hopes for Pure Glow Getter, swatches of which showed your standard white polish with a twist – a delicate, lit-from-within effect in the dark that almost looked like shimmering opals.  In reality, it’s temperamental, a touch thick, dries to an almost rubbery finish that will not adhere to other polishes (so forget about using it for detail work) and loses most of its glow the second you add a top coat.  But my disappointment with Pure Glow Getter is outweighed by the awesomeness of Blue Blazes, a baby blue cream that glows blindingly bright turquoise in the dark.  It, too, dries to a vaguely odd, slightly rubbery finish, but thankfully doesn’t succumb to the ravages of a nice top coat like its glowy sister (HOURS after my nails had last seen light they were still glowing a deep, oceanic blue that not even my crapass photography skills could fail to capture!)055068

Grape Expectations

Grape Expectations

These nails, a simple jelly sandwich manicure, look like an ode to antioxidants. There’s something very cran-grape-blueberry about them, no? They also look a bit like Fred Flintstone’s pet dinosaur Dino’s, um, pelt? Hide? Skin? Hmm, well, whatever you call it, my attempts at nail art should probably never make one think about the skinning of a beloved cartoon dinosaur. I think we’ll stick with the blueberry-grape thing instead.

To do these nails, I topped three coats of China Glaze’s Are You Jelly?, an orchid purple jelly, with one light coat of Sephora Formula X’s TNT, a neon blue matte glitter, and then topped the whole thing off with one final coat of Are You Jelly? The overall effect is more opaque than your traditional jelly sandwich manicure, thanks in large part to the lush, electric colours of the polishes, which in combination look nothing like the hide of a hand drawn dino-dog hybrid. No, nothing at all…

Saved By the Bell

Saved By the Bell

There’s something very 1980s about these nails, a throwback to the title card graphics of Saturday morning teen staple, Saved By the Bell. Being the contrary type, of course, I didn’t actually start watching Saved By the Bell (original sauce and The College Years) until a year or so after I myself had completed my post-secondary education. So long past the point of relevance, assuming it ever had any to begin with. But for a year or so there as I navigated the unknown wilds of new home ownership, “grown up job” jitters and the horrid realization that I really couldn’t cook, clean or care for myself for shit, there was no better way to start my day than with a bowl of Cheerios, a giant glass of milk and two back-to-back episodes of Saved By the Bell.

And while I’d never say that Zack Morris, Kelly Kapowski and company were my preferred gang with which to hang (that honour goes to another Saturday morning NBC favourite, the Guys Next Door), there was something supremely comforting about the way life never really changed for the students of Bayside High. Episode after episode, life was little more than Slater’s wrestling matches, Screech’s…screechiness…and Zack’s endless (and one-sided) battle of “wits” with Mr. Belding. And all of it wrapped in a neon-and-acid-wash blanket of major ’80s cheese. Sing it with me now! “When I wake up in the morning and the alarm gives out a warning and I don’t think I’ll ever make it on time…”

For these nails I topped a favourite bright yellow (Sally Hansen’s Mellow Yellow) with a neon glitter polish packed with fine matte glitter (Polish Me Silly’s Freckles.) Then, never really knowing where to draw the line between too much and not enough, I topped that with a neon blue glitter polish (Sephora Formula X’s TNT) and, for that extra special ’80s touch, a black and white glitter topper (Sephora Formula X’s Chaotic.) The pink I used on my index finger is another favourite, Finger Paint’s Louvre This Pink.

Rah Rah

Rah Rah

These nails wound up looking a lot more like cheerleading uniforms than I had intended (I was a cheerleader in my senior years of high school, and not a very good one at that; I had fun (?) but I wouldn’t recommend it.)

The actual inspiration for this manicure is a devastatingly gorgeous crushed velvet dress that Eva Green’s character, Angelique, wears in the Tim Burton movie Dark Shadows. It’s a stunning combination of super tailored blue velvet lined with blood red satin, and not the kind of thing I generally retain from a movie unless it’s fabulous, which this dress absolutely is.

The glittery royal blue I used here, Sephora Formula X’s Catalyst, gives these nails the perfect colour and texture of Angie’s dress, but I think I took a misstep with the scallop design, which sends the whole thing veering solidly into unintended “B-E A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E territory. Plus the glitter on my middle finger is a little pom pom-esque. And a red, white and blue colour scheme always winds up looking a bit Friday Night Lights…hmm, makes you wonder if I had Angelique’s dress in mind at all!

Sparkling Snow

Sparkling Snow

New glittery Sephora polish from my husband + a simple, favourite design + general fatigue with Christmas designs = these nails, and the third time this season I’ve done such a snowflake design.

Here I topped one of my Christmas presents, Sephora Formula X’s Catalyst, with my go-to white, Revlon’s Spirit, and topped the whole thing off with a coat of yet another of my Christmas presents, Seche Vite, the undisputed king of high gloss top coats.

Taste the Rainbow

Taste the Rainbow

Actually, no, don’t taste these. Nail polish manufacturers have come quite a ways in recent years in ensuring that every bottle produced isn’t .5 fluid ounces of pure poison, but it’s still pretty toxic stuff, and I can’t imagine it’s the least bit tasty.

I’m not sure if this qualifies as a skittle mani (not the candy; it’s really more of an every nail for itself approach) or if it simply acts as a testament to the power of a good glitter topper. In either case, these nails are fun and vibrant and the perfect opportunity to try out my gradient skills, with a little speckled help from one of Sephora’s new-ish effects polishes in Chaotic.