I went for an inked-on expression of l’amour for day 18’s theme of love in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge. For these tatted up nails, I took inspiration from the lettering on those knuckle duster tattoos that, spread out across two hands, often read LOVE/HATE or PATI/ENCE or maybe KITT/YCAT. I filled in the lettering with the red, purple and grey glazes from Mentality’s Glazing Art Set, sheer polishes designed for maximum blendability. I then added a few tattoo-style roses to my thumb and outlined them in black for a stark, graphic look. Love this love!
I’m a smidge young for that to be a Bay City Rollers reference, but the following statement might date me just as well: I know – and love – a version of the Suh–Suh-Suh-Saturday Night song by a Scottish band I adored in high school called Ned’s Atomic Dustbin off the soundtrack for the movie So I Married an Axe Murderer (phew, that took a minute to come full circle there, no?) Oh, Ned’s – haven’t thought about them in a while! Alternative music-loving kids of the ’90s may remember them as the exceptionally be-coiffed Scottish band with two bassists who did the Kill Your Television song. Or not, because I’m not sure how popular they were on this side of the pond. But their music was a kind of weird and clunky rock-pop that I was powerless to resist in the ’90s, to say nothing of the fact that they were super cute, although there was hardly a band in the ’90s that I didn’t find completely adorable, because dirty musicians with long hair were completely my catnip back then…annnnnnnddddd I may just have wandered off on a bit of a tangent there!
Okay, so to bring this back to the nails, it’s S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night! and I just wanted to do a simple manicure that was fun, summery and maybe very similar in design and colour palette to a pink-base-and-blue-glitter mani that I did last week? Yeah, I’d say they’re definitely in the same family. Second cousins, if you will. For this mani, I used three coats of Mentality Nail Polish’s coral glaze under one coat of a blue and black glitter from Ardene called Photobomb. And if you’re thinking that this is not the first time you’ve seen this coral glaze in one of my manis before, that’s because it is. I use this particular polish all the time in nail art and as a base for more intricate designs, although I use all of the polishes from Mentality’s Glazing Art Set every week, because they’re awesome. Simple as that!
A couple of months ago I did a brushed-on gradient manicure with the warm sister colours to the polishes I used in this manicure – Mentality Nail Polish’s sheer green, aqua (shown below) and blue glazes, in case you were wondering – and it looked exactly like a Tequila Sunrise, one of those alarmingly coloured and potent alcoholic concoctions you can’t help but love, despite its not-from-nature hue. In any event, it would seem I’ve cozied up to the rainbow-coloured bar once again with these nails, another brushed-on manicure using Mentality’s glazes that now reminds me of a Blue Lagoon or a Blue Hawaiian or any other super stainy cocktail involving blue curacao. And what’s a cocktail without a little (fimo cane) garnish, hmm? Nothing I want to drink (that’s a lie; I’ll still drink it, even if my middle-aged constitution no longer allows for the kind of drinking that goes along with blue beverages.)
For these deceptively difficult looking nails, I used three shades from Mentality’s Glazing Art Set, aqua, blue and purple, and Orly’s glimmering gold Bling. Starting with the aqua glaze (or jelly, or sheer) I brushed on three thin coats and let them dry. Then, taking the blue glaze and starting just a smidge down into the aqua polish, I brushed on one light coat and let it dry. Taking the blue glaze once again, I then brushed on another light coat, this time starting a smidge down from the last blue layer. I then repeated the last two steps with the purple glaze, working my way down my nails, before edging them with a light, brushed-on coat of Bling. You’re building up a type of gradient here by layering and blending the polishes. When you’re finished, you’ll have one layer of aqua, two layers of blue, two layers of purple and the glittery gold cherry on top. Neat, vibrant and super simple – the very best kind of nail art!
One of the wisest nail polish purchases I have made in, well, ever is Mentality Nail Polish’s 10-piece Glazing Art Set. Sold both individually and as part of the larger set, the polishes, which run the rainbow gamut from cherry red to eggplant purple, are slightly shimmery, sheer, but buildable, and the perfect mix-and-match palette for everything from jelly sandwiches to leadlighting. Gradients in particular fare quite well when done with the glazes, the sheer shades blending into one another beautifully.
For this manicure, I used eight of the glazes (red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple and coral) to create a mash-up of brushed-on rainbow stripes/a vertical gradient before topping the whole thing off with one coat of Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s twinkly Rainbow Sprinkles. I think my thumb, index finger and pinkie look fantastic, with each colour blending nearly seamlessly into the one beside it. My middle and ring fingers fared a little less well, the naturally occurring spectrum getting a bit muddled with the end of one rainbow and the beginning of another. But no matter, because glitter eradicates all nail sins, and Rainbow Sprinkles is more than pulling its weight!
This autumn-hued jelly sandwich manicure might seem a touch out of season (first comes Spring and Summer, and then Fall, Sandra) but at this point, I’m willing to look at anything to break up the monotony of late winter. It’s such an ugly time of year, particularly in my city where heaps of filthy snow line every sidewalk and roadway from November to mid-April.
Something warm – the furthest thing from icy, really – seemed in order, and wanting to keep things on the simple side, I decided to go with a jelly sandwich manicure using China Glaze’s Rest in Pieces, a holographic glitter topper from last year’s Halloween collection, and the orange glaze from Mentality’s Glazing Art Set. However, Mentality’s slightly shimmery glazes do have a tendency to faintly obscure less assertively-hued glitters (particularly those of the tone-on-tone variety, like this one), so I brushed on one ultra light coat of Rest in Pieces over top of the entire “assembled” sandwich to add further depth and boost the pretty sparkle.
Earlier this year Mentality Nail Polish released a 10-piece collection of rainbow polishes called the Glazing Art Set. Categorized as jellies, these ever so slightly shimmery polishes are opaque in three coats, but sheer enough straight out of the bottle that they can be used in all sorts of fun nail art techniques, from leadlighting and jelly sandwiches to pond manis and homemade Franken-polishes. You can see a few of the manicures I’ve already created with these polishes here, here and here.
Formula-wise, the glazes flow onto the nail nicely, being neither too thin or thick, although I did notice that the two purple polishes were a touch thinner than their sisters. In terms of application, they all brushed on smoothly and were completely opaque in three coats – quite the feat for a sheer formulation; I’ve had cremes with poorer coverage – although once again the two purple polishes proved to be ever so slightly less vibrant than their counterparts and probably could have benefitted from four coats each. Scattered throughout with the very faintest (and daintiest) of silver shimmer, these polishes do not look like jellies in the most traditional sense of the word, eschewing a jelly’s usual squishiness for a ton of gorgeous, best-in-the-shade visual interest that I have yet to put into practice, but that I bet will look pretty fabulous in some stained glass nail art.
The 10-piece Glazing Art Set, which I purchased from Harlow & Co., retails for $65 USD, although you can also buy each of the polishes – red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple, red-purple, coral and grey – individually (but come on, don’t you want the set – it’s like finger paints for adults!) If you’re interested in stretching your glitters, trying your hand at a watercolour-type look, creating fun new colour combinations or just mucking around with a giant pile of pretty, rainbow-hued polishes, look no further than these versatile and beautifully made glazes that are sure to inspire all manner of nail art greatness.
The following photo collages show one, two and three coats of each of the 10 glazes in natural, indirect light with no top coat.
What do you get when you combine a jelly sandwich manicure and my favourite (and best) homemade polish, Hawaiian Ham? A ham sandwich! Ba-dum-ching! Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waiter, and please try the ham.
Note: This lame joke was made possible through the combination of Hawaiian Ham, an ultra sheer pink polish that I made loaded with red, pink, yellow, brown and copper glitters, and Mentality Nail Polish’s Coral glazing polish. I particularly love how the slight shimmer of the glaze adds a ton of subtle visual interest to this standard jelly sandwich mani. Sweet (or salty)!
More like Tequila Sunrise, amirite?! The initial inspiration for these nails, a simple brushed-on gradient using three warm-toned jellies from Mentality Nail Polish, was fire. I thought combining the red, orange and yellow polishes from Mentality’s 10-piece Glazing Art Set would look a bit like flames licking at the tips of my fingers (how very Beetlejuice!) Instead I wound up with something more akin to grenadine (pomegranate syrup, you heathens) slowly sinking to the bottom of a Tequila Sunrise, which is one of those deceptively benign-looking layered cocktails that will lure you into a night of feckless debauchery and wanton dancing before leaving you cold and shivering and possibly face-down in your toilet the next morning. Or so I’ve heard. 😉
And now one from the “Back in my day” files: Many moons ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was attending high school, it was year-end tradition for the graduating seniors to camp out in the back field on the second last night of school, after having spent the evening one province over where the drinking age was ever so slightly lower doing totally innocent things like reading poetry aloud to one another or helping little old ladies cross the street, BUT OF COURSE (okay, so that’s a huge fib. My class at least had the dubious distinction of drinking one bar out of their entire stock of Midori melon liqueur, and when the DJ came on over the PA to reassure the green-lipped masses that MORE MIDORI WAS ON ITS WAY, my entire class cheered ecstatically. And then probably did the Macarena, because it was 1996, that song was everywhere and dancing ironically was already becoming a thing.) The event was called Tequila Sunrise, and stretched well beyond sunrise (where breakfast was on in the cafeteria for anyone upright and ventilating) into the entire last day of school, where the seniors were invited to attend their final classes, or not, or show up to say goodbye to everyone and sign some yearbooks, or not…it was all incredibly relaxed and gracious and trusting of the teachers and administration, and I can’t imagine it’s an event that has continued given the age of heightened pearl-clutching we live in now. But it remains one of my favourite high school memories, right down to the day’s last bell, when my friend and I looked at each other in pure astonishment – holy crap, we made it – and then promptly burst into gigantic wracking sobs. It was an emotional moment for sure, and that’s before a girl a few grades down showed up with her guitar and began serenading us with morose Ani DiFranco tunes. A beautifully bittersweet day after a pretty sweet (and tequila-infused) sunrise.
The first bit of nail art I ever attempted (aside from some experiments with my Hard Candy polishes back in high school that resulted in me dumping an entire bottle of frosted purple lacquer onto my parents’ basement rug) was a watermelon-type design. I can’t say I’m the hugest fan of watermelon itself (I guess it’s a nice enough snack on hot summer days, but watermelon-flavoured anything is the work of the devil) but I love the look of it. For lack of a better term, it’s an aesthetically pleasing fruit.
All that to say I have quite a bit of watermelon-hued polish (lush, corally pinks and vibrant, jungle greens) and now, thanks to Whimsical Ideas by Pam, I have a melon-hued glitter, the gorgeous, summery, pink-spotted Wacky Watermelon. I’ve shown Wacky Watermelon here over the coral and green polishes from Mentality’s Glazing Art Set, sheer jellies you can sandwich, layer or build to full opacity (more on those a little later this week.) I was initially a touch on the fence about Wacky Watermelon, finding the ratio of coral glitter to the black and green glitters off in favour of pink, PINK, PINK!!!, but on the nail it’s pure watermelony goodness – matte pink circles and hexes in a clear base with just a tiny smattering of green and black hexes. A perfect blend of fruit and rind and seeds. Just an adorably fun and lovely polish all around.