CloverUnder Fingers

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  To those celebrating this afternoon, tonight and early tomorrow morning, I hope you have a wonderful time, but please remember to do so responsibly.  Hail a cab, call a ride-sharing service, buddy up and walk your drunk butts home (the exercise and fresh air would do you some good!) – anything but behind the wheel of a car, okay?  This has been my yearly St. Patrick’s Day PSA; thank you for listening.

Really, though, a weekend St. Patrick’s Day in my any-excuse-to-tie-one-on hometown is cause for alarm.  I actually don’t plan on even leaving the house today – I’ll just binge drink at home like a proper Irish Canadian woman (joke, joke!)

No matter my plans, however, my nails will be looking festive and fly in this old school KB Shimmer polish, Get Clover It.  I’ve had this polish forever, and it’s a favourite – I love its clear, dark green jelly base, lit from within with micro-glitter like the world’s most beautiful pickle, and its lush mix of metallic circle glitter.  Heh, pickle.  Anyways, stay safe, party peeps.

CloverUnder Bottle

Green Clover (31DC2016)

Clover Fingers

As well as turquoise, and a bit of gold, and all of it over a base of one of my favourite polishes – and one that’s ever so appropriate for today’s theme of green in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge – KB Shimmer’s Get Clover It. Lucky and lovely. 🙂

Get Clover It!

Get Clover It

That’s the name of this polish, a favourite of mine from KB Shimmer, although it’s also an apt directive, because you really should get Get Clover It – it’s a gorgeous polish, and oh-so appropriate for any St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans you may have planned.

Speaking of, I’d like to take a moment to issue my annual two-part St. Patrick’s Day request – call it a Pre-Paddy PSA.  First, don’t drink and drive.  Call a cab, take the bus, pass out at the base of the McDonald’s drive-thru window in the midst of ordering a Shamrock Shake, whatever – just don’t get behind the wheel of a car, please.

And secondly, a tip most germane to this blog, particularly in the lead-up to St. Patrick’s Day – if you paint your nails green, for the love of all that’s holy, use a base coat first. Really, don’t even THINK about painting your nails green without laying down a coat or two of a base polish first.  Because had I taken a moment and thought about it, and painted on that clear coat of polish, protecting my nails from the pigmented onslaught of Colors by Llarowe’s grass green Gemini Rising back at the beginning of December 2015, I may not have had to live with noticeably piss green nails until just two days ago.  That’s right, the staining was so bad, I simply had to wait until my nails grew out, and that took four months.  So believe me when I harp on about base coat – I regrettably know of that which I speak!

Get Clover It Fingers

Glitter Melons (OMD3)

Watermelon Hand

Watermelon, day 12’s theme in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge, is a design I have done to death (actually, as recently as last week, when I did watermelon wedges for the prompt of V-shaped.) It’s a classic for a very good reason (also the first bit of nail art I ever did, just a little over two years ago.) But that doesn’t mean I haven’t gotten a bit tired of painting the juicy little buggers, and quite frankly, I thought I had run out of melony inspiration, especially in light of some of the awesomely creative designs already posted by the other challenge participants.

But it seems there might be a bit of fuel left in the tank, and so I decided to take the humble watermelon design in a totally different direction, deconstructing it and breaking it down into a series of stripes and dots featuring two of my favourite KB Shimmer glitter bombs, dark green Get Clover It and Hawaiian-Punch-for-your-nails, Belle of the Mall. I like the buttoned down details as set against the juiciest of my glitter jellies. Fun, simple and something just a tiny little bit different.

The A-Team

Without getting too nihilistic on you, friends who come here to see nail art but instead get lured into 1,200-word diatribes on my cats and/or The Lost Boys, 2014 was a bad, bad year. To be sure, there were some lovely, wonderful moments – new babies! an unexpectedly fun road trip! the discovery of Misfits! – but for my family at least, and a distressingly large number of my friends and acquaintances, 2014 was a year defined by loss, grief and hardships great and small. I won’t be sorry to see it go.

Okay, so 2014 sucked. But do you know what didn’t? These nail polishes! Which seems like the ultimate in ridiculous non sequiturs, but really, in a year that’s been as unpleasant as the past one, why shouldn’t we take a moment to appreciate the things that gave us a bit of joy, even those as immaterially material as silly old nail polish? No good reason that I can think of! And so I present to you this photo gallery of the polishes that rocked my world this year, a motley assortment of holos and flakies and industrially chunky glitters that prove that good things – and sometimes good, don’t-hate-the-world feelings – truly do come in small packages. 😉

Sitting atop the heap and not included in this gallery is my pick for polish of the year, Candy Lacquer’s everything-and-the-kitchen-sink glitter, Candy Cane Fiesta. I’ve expounded on its loveliness – some may say at length! – so I’ll say no more before it develops a swelled head.Blue and Green Christmas

The following nine are presented in no particular order or ranking – they’re across-the-board beautiful and so well made, I’ve found uses for them in multiple manis this year, and will continue to well into the new year. Here’s to the little lacquered things!

1. Polish Me Silly’s pink, white and blue glitter topper, Mr. Bubble.Mr. Bubble

2. Smitten Polish’s red shimmer-infused purple jelly, You Saucy Minx.You Saucy Minx

3. KB Shimmer’s Hawaiian Punch-in-a-bottle, Belle of the Mall.Sparkling Strawberry

4. KB Shimmer’s grass green glitter jelly, Get Clover It.Get Clover It

5. Orly’s silver holo of the year, Mirrorball.Mirrorball

6. Dance Legend’s cobalt blue jelly flakie, Sun Still Sleeps.Sun Still Sleeps

7. Candy Lacquer’s super fruity matte glitter, Citrus Smoothie.Citrus Smoothie

8. KB Shimmer’s Frozen-in-a-bottle, Snow Much Fun.Snow Much Fun

9. Polish Me Silly’s pink-to-gold-to-green chrome flakie, Stop Flaking on Me.Stop Flaking on Me

Polish Me Silly’s polishes are available through their Etsy shop. You can find KB Shimmer’s wares through their own site if you’re an American customer, or through Harlow & Co.’s site if you’re an international customer. Smitten Polish’s goods are available through their Big Cartel site, as are Candy Lacquer‘s. Orly polishes are available at brick and mortar Sally Beauty Supply shops, as well as their website. Finally, Dance Legend polishes are best and most reliably acquired through international stocklist Llarowe’s website.

The Perfect Tree For Me

The Perfect Tree For MeEleven or maybe even 12 years ago when my husband (then-fiancé) and I were preparing to celebrate our first Christmas together, we went out and bought a quite large and impressively bushy artificial tree that has not, wonder of wonders, succumbed to my more destructive tendencies and continues to stand proudly in the corner of our livingroom every December. It’s my favourite thing about the holidays, and though I absolutely dread putting the thing up (the first year it took me two solid days and a small nervous breakdown) because I invariably harm myself in the process (one year I electrocuted myself on a broken bulb and every year my hands break out into a weird, itchy rash because I am thoroughly allergic to manhandling its plasticiness), I would not care to celebrate Christmas without it.

Besides, our tree is FUN. Look at this thing! With very few exceptions (a Jack Skellington ornament here, a little fox there) all of our ornaments are food and candy-themed, and the whole tree is draped in garland that looks like hard candy, gumdrops, candy corn and peppermints! Buddy the Elf would definitely approve!Christmas Tree Collage

I’ve done a few Christmas tree-type nail designs over the last couple of seasons, but I wanted to try something more personal. And so I took the macro approach to my own Christmas tree and focused in on all that fun candied garland against a backdrop of glimmering artificial tree (KB Shimmer’s Get Clover It) and tiny twinkling lights. O Christmas tree, indeed!

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Christmas TreeI know all you Americans are coming down off (or coming back up out of) major gravy-based comas and/or recuperating from injuries sustained during the Battle of Black Friday, and so the upcoming holiday season is probably the furthest thing from your minds, but here in Canada we’ve been good to go since the middle of November (and if you’re a major retailer like, say, craft store Michael’s, who in recent years have pushed their “holiday” season into groundbreaking and obscene new territories, it’s more like late August.) I hung our outdoor lights a few weeks back and I’ll be digging the tree out of storage this weekend, so I’d say this Christmas thing is pretty well on.

And on my nails as well, where a pond manicure Christmas tree design meets a favourite glitter jelly, KB Shimmer’s Get Clover It, and two different Sally Hansen glitters, Strawberry Shields and Over the Rainblue. Quite festive.

Greenery (OMD2)

GreeneryThis manicure, my interpretation of Madam Luck’s superlative St. Patrick’s Day design and my entry in the Oh Mon Dieu challenge for the theme of jelly, features some of my very favourite nail things, glitter-studded jelly polishes being the most important for our current purposes. I really enjoyed this challenge prompt, because oh, how I love the glitter jellies! All the jelly polishes, actually, as it is the very best finish. They could come and live with me on a special nail polish farm, and I’d take care of them and we’d all be very happy together, I can feel it.

But before you begin to worry that I’m going to run off and form some sort of nail polish worshipping cult (look around Instagram sometime; it’s not far off), take comfort in the fact that I haven’t gone right round the twist – I just really like jelly polishes. Weirdly enough, they have been one of the great discoveries of the past year. Before embarking on this journey into the heart of lacquer-based lunacy, I had no idea such an animal existed. I thought all nail polish was either a cream or a clear-based glitter. But jellies, with their incongruously rich, almost syrupy-looking finish, in their typical assortment of jewel-toned colours, are a breed apart, and, of course, the crucial component in a type of manicure known as a jelly sandwich.

These nails are a modified type of jelly sandwich known as a pond manicure in which you swap out the sandwich’s jelly-over-glitter approach for painted-on details such as Madam Luck’s stamped-on shamrocks or my dotted-on blossoms. Or maybe you go for all three like I did, layering polish and jelly and nail art details one atop the other until you wind up with, well, this!

For this gorgeously lush looking mani, I started off with one base coat of a blackened teal polish, Nails Inc.’s Kensington, over which I brushed one light coat of a forest green glitter jelly, KB Shimmer’s Get Clover It. Once dry, I randomly dotted on a handful of basic flowers in a stark white polish (name withheld because it’s crap), and then topped the whole works off with two light coats of Get Clover It, going slowly to make sure the glittery bits didn’t completely cover up the floral design (I should note here that this technique works best with a less glitter-intensive jelly polish such as Get Clover It. If you use one of the more traditional glitter jellies, which are typically packed to the brim with sparkly stuff, you run the risk of obliterating those nail art details you worked so hard to achieve in the first place.)

Emerald Pretty

Emerald Pretty

Oh, we’re off to see the wizard! Here I attempted to capture the Emerald City of The Wizard of Oz in tiny, glittery form for week 3 of the May N.A.I.L. Challenge for the theme of emerald, which I clearly took quite literally. I love that I was able to make great use of a favourite glittery green polish, KB Shimmer’s Get Clover It, to add a touch of sparkle to the buildings. I think the little gold and turquoise glitters sort of look like lights burning in the windows of Emerald Towers.