Succulents, Not Succulent

Succulents 2

Well, trust me to take this floral manicure, which I did in service of the theme of succulents for a nail art challenge I’m doing on Instagram, and turn it into a discussion on Brooklyn 9-9.  Actually, I suspect I could turn just about any subject into a commentary on one of my favourite TV shows, I think about it just that often!

Anyhow, there’s this character named Charles Boyle, who’s played by Joe Lo Truglio, who you may remember as the creepy/skeezy/gross guy from any number of Judd Apatow movies (thinking of his character in Superbad here.)  I was definitely not a fan before seeing his work in Brooklyn 9-9, but as beige pants-loving, foodie cop Charles Boyle, he’s an utter delight.  No one loves fermenting mason jars of unidentifiable foodstuffs in their desk drawers more than Charles. 🙂

But Charles’s taste in food runs quite contrary to his ultra beige, Mervins-clad demeanor – Charles likes it weird, Charles likes it gross, and Charles probably likes it best if he kills it himself (he once fought off a rampaging turkey that had penned the squad into a bathroom with naught but a handily repurposed straightening iron.)  He also likes to discuss his foodie pursuits in THE most repulsive manner possible, always using the most descriptively disgusting language he can find – words like “moist” and “mouthfeel” and in one particularly nasty bit, the phrase “Oh, lucky you, you got the toenail!”  Long story short, don’t ask Charles Boyle to bring anything to the potluck, because it’ll definitely be offal.  Or worse.  And with its toenails still on!

At one point, another character submitted a list of words Charles was forbidden from uttering, and “succulent” was right at the top.  I get it, it conjures up the same sort of images in my mind as when I hear the word “moist” (which is apparently one of the most reviled words in the English language, didya know?)  To my mind, it suggests lush, almost juicy dampness.  Which, when I see it all written out like that, IS rather disgusting!

So it’s a real shame that succulents, the plant, have gotten swept up in the wellspring of negativity towards their name, because they’re so, so beautiful – such charming little plants with their heathered rainbow hues.  So I put them on my nails.  Hey, beats the heck out of trying to recreate one of Charles’s culinary nightmares!  You’re welcome. 😉

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Nailed It!

Nailed It 2

There is a show on television – you may have seen it, but I haven’t – called Nailed It! wherein hopeless home bakers seek redemption and cash through a reality TV-style baking competition.  It’s hosted by Nicole Byer, who I DO know from Brooklyn 99 as delightful car thief Doug Judy’s baby sister, Trudy Judy (“baby” nothin’ – Trudy Judy takes care of her own business, you simple little barn animal!)  Anyhow, I always see the show’s title and think it’s actually some sort of nail art competition, which definitely falls on the not-so-edible side of things (though apparently so too do most of the baked goods produced by the contestants, hey-oh!)

I’m not sure there’s much of an audience for a show about both baking and nail art, but if there were, this manicure, which was inspired by a gorgeous cake I saw on Instagram, would certainly land me a spot on at least, like, the first two episodes. 😉

Nailed It 1

LOVE these nails, gigantic, unwieldy golden charms and all.  If I had any complaints, it would be that the roses are not quite red enough (how very “Off with their heads!” does THAT sound?) and the gold not quite yellow enough.  I used a frosted, almost icy-looking gold here, whereas the original cake used a lush marigold yellow that I far prefer.  Just in general, these nails read far more “edgy tea set” than bitchin’ Queen of Hearts cake, but I love them all the same.

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The Ice Wall

The Ice Wall 1

Been watching a lot of rock climbing-related media these days, so presumably that’s why these nails, which I had intended to mimic this sort of gemstone-type look, came out looking less like sapphires and more like an imposingly impassable ice wall.  Except even that’s a pretty tenuous connection – none of the movies I’ve been watching (Free Solo, The Dawn Wall on Netflix) have featured ice climbing, which is fantastic.  Really, who wants to cling to the edge of a geological feature thousands of feet in the air, engaged in a batshit activity that taxes every ounce of physical and mental strength you can muster, AND be freezing cold at the same time?  Not this person!

Yup, these nails are super ice cave-y.  It’s the rich, almost icy indigo blues I chose – it’s a very deep, layered, frosty kind of look.  Very pretty, but not at all a sapphire.  One for the “Try it Again” files, methinks (whilst cold weather climbing in general can go straight into the “Try it Never” files.  Maybe just climbing in general – as much as I’m enjoying these movies, I’m not sure I’m ever going to be on board with any activity that will most likely end in my Wile. E. Coyote-esque death.) 😉

The Ice Wall 2

 

Clueless About Plaid

Clueless

I did this manicure for the prompt of Back to School in a nail art challenge I’m following along with over on Instagram.  Come by and see me sometime – park_or_perish is my handle.

Having dabbled in Cher Horowitz’s fashion sensibilities for much of the mid-90s, particularly on the first day of grade 13 – come on, all those little velveteen dresses and stacked Steve Madden loafers were AWESOME! – Back to School to me always means Back to Clueless, a place – or is it a state of mind? – I’m never actually particularly far from anyways.  And what’s better than Cher’s yellow plaid outfit she chooses – or is it her computer that chooses? – to make her big entrance at school?  Ooh, Snickers. 😉

Blue China

China Roses 1

Sort of?  You know, like those ubiquitous blue and white Chinese vases you see anyplace anyone wants to add a touch of “Asian fusion influence”?  Or maybe Wedgewood, another type of blue and white china (English-made, that one.)  Hmm, or perhaps a cross between the two.  Basically, I don’t know what I’m looking at here.

Except for some pretty fly floral nails!  I’m so pleased with how this manicure turned out, particularly as I only used three polishes, a neutral beige base, a dusty pale blue, and that stupendous indigo creme, Londontown‘s Lakur polish in Iconic.  I’ve mentioned in the past that I don’t find nail polish to be the easiest artistic medium to work with – it wants to dry out so quickly, I never feel like I have enough time to putter about, mix up my paints, try new techniques.  But I’ve been attempting to use my nail polish more like acrylic paints these days, and that’s how these lovely nails came about.  I particularly love the sweet little variegated petals on the roses, which were the result of dipping my detail brush first into the pale blue polish and then into the dark blue polish, before brushing the whole pretty, swirly mess onto my nails.  Feels a little more undone than my usual, and a lot more natural, too (you know, if blue roses existed outside of a giant plastic bucket filled with three dozen white roses and a metric ton of blue food colouring!)

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Marbleize Me, Michael!

Marbelize Me 1

Heh, that’s a line from the second best character* on my favourite TV show, The Good Place.  Janet, played by D’Arcy Carden, is an “informational assistant” – basically an Alexa that can walk and talk and learn to throw shade.  Janet’s natural state is to walk around as a hot brunette (in inexplicably stodgy 1960s secretary wear) but when the goings get dicey (and are they never not dicey on The Good Place?) she can be “marbleized” – shrunk down into a easily hideable glass marble, simply by inserting the end of a paperclip in the tiny port behind her ear, and booping the end of her nose.  Wow, is The Good Place ever a weird show.

Anyhow, none of that has anything to do with these nails – was just bandying about some ideas for the title of this post and thought, “Huh, these look like marble.  Let’s Play Marbles?  Ugh, no, that’s crap.  Venus de Marble?  Seriously?  Gawd, go home, you’re drunk, that’s terrible.  *GASP!!!MARBLEIZE ME, MICHAEL!!!”  Yup, sometimes it really is just that scattered.  Also, I need to re-watch last season of The Good Place before the fourth – and final – season starts this fall.

Oh-kay, getting back to these nails!  They were insanely easy.  Like, embarrassingly easy.  And they only took about 20 minutes, including dry time.  Maybe I ought to create a tutorial?  But the hows for now?  I dipped a small, wide-edged detail brush into three polishes – here a dark brown, a lighter brown and a pale pink – and gently zigzagged it down my nails, already painted in a simple white creme, to create the veiny look of marble.  I repeated that process wherever there was space, trying to keep things loose and not too “done.”  Annnnnnnnd that was pretty much it.  Oh!  I also added just a tiny bit of glittery gold detailing, just to really highlight those little “fissures.”  Also, too many quotation marks in this post. 😉

*The best character is clearly Jason Mendoza of Jacksonville, Florida.  BORTLES!!!

Marbelize Me 2

Technicolour Swirls

Technicolour 1

Well, isn’t this always just the way – sit down with a bunch of polishes and absolutely no firm idea in your mind of what you might like to do with them, and out the other side pops one of the best manicures you’ve done in ages.  Must be a Friend of Murphy kind of situation (as in Murphy’s Law.  I always call annoying, vaguely ironic happenstances (if you’re using the Alanis definition) that don’t fall under the banner of Murphy’s Law “Friends of Murphy.”  I suppose they could also be relatives.  This is very clearly a Maeve Murphy situation as it applies to nail art.  You know, dear old Aunt Maeve with the manicures.)

I think this post may have gotten away from me a bit.

Anyhow, I really did just sit down with a pile of holographic polishes and no real idea of what to do with them, and an hour later this is what emerged.  I don’t often do much colour blending in my manicures, as I find nail lacquer a really difficult medium to paint in – it wants to dry out so quickly, I often don’t have time for proper puttering and painting.  But I gave it a whirl today, and I love the results.

Technicolour 3

Also makes for a very pretty wax paper palette.  Just in case you’ve ever wondered, by the way, what kind of palette I use for my polishes, I use whatever’s handiest.  For the longest time I used the front or back of old DVD cases.  It was fun painting blobs of polish over top of Ben Affleck’s face.  But these days I use a tiny square of wax paper, a system that’s working out just fine.  Less waste, mostly, but also the polish seems to dry out not quite so quickly on wax paper as opposed to plastic, which is a definite improvement in my books.  What a glimpse behind the magic! 😉

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