I was going to start off this post by noting that this manicure is a lot like a Whatchamacallit candy bar, a chocolate confection that doesn’t quite know what it wants to be (aside from eight different kinds of yummy slammed into one log-shaped delight and smothered in cocoa, that is.)

But that assessment is not a completely accurate one.  This manicure is actually more like that time on Friends when Rachel proudly presents the gang with a beef and strawberry pot pie trifle – it was supposed to be one or the other, but owing to an ill-timed flip of a page in the recipe book, it wound up being both.  My particular problem is I’m feeling really quite screwed up by this weekend’s time change.  MY pages have been flipped, and all day long I’ve been making the silliest little mistakes out of sheer distraction.  So what started out life as another Mardi Gras-inspired mani (complete with Harlequin diamonds and the suit of cards in shades of green, purple and gold) became…this?  Hey, at least it’s pretty!  And that’ll have to be good enough for now.

But I still don’t know what to call it.

What a Wonder: A Mini Lush Review


Okay, so I never particularly care for the scent of, well, any of these, and I always have a bit of a hard time watching $7.00 to $11.00 literally dissolve into glittery nothingness in my bathtub in less than a minute, but ding dang, Lush’s bath bombs – fizzy little orbs of multi-coloured sodium bicarbonate tenuously held together with good-for-your-skin essential oils – are just plain fun.  Far preferable to regular old water (although much like dosing your drinking water with flavoured extracts, you really ought to give plain eau de tap a go every now and then; the pigmentation in these things cannot be good for your delicate bits if you’re using them every day.)

But pretty!  And glittery, and colourful, and…okay, so I won’t comment on the smell.  They all smell like powdered (insert approximation of whatever the heck Lush thinks X smells like.)  Weirdly, though, I really like the smell of this pretty little bath bomb, Lush’s Golden Wonder.  Lush’s website tells me its scent notes and active ingredients include lime oil and bourbon extract, which…maybe?  Smells like citrus to me, which I quite enjoy.

Actually, I really enjoyed everything about this bath bomb, from its buttery yellow hue, to its dusting of gold mica, to its secret green and purple core.  I even loved the weird little ghost creature that popped up right toward the end of the bomb’s life cycle, eking out one final, bubbly gasp before dissolving into the glittery gloom.  Really, look at this odd little guy!  I think he looks like one of those swooping ghost baddies from the Super Mario games.  Or Mr. Boo Berry without his hat.  He don’t look like nothin’ now, though, because I sat on his face (in a completely non-sexual way, of course.) 😉


The one thing I didn’t love about this bath bomb was that it, like so many Lush bath bombs I’ve purchased recently, dissolved totally in about 30 seconds flat.  And while I recognize that there’s more to bath bombs than the wow factor (this one was super moisturizing and turned my bathwater the coolest shade of glittery moss green) their main job is to put on a big show.  And when you’ve barely had time to whip out your camera, not drop it in the tub and fire off just a smattering of photos before everything’s said and done, well, that’s not very good value for your money (in this case $6.95 Canadian.)  All the same, the Golden Wonder bath bomb is one I would definitely buy again, should Lush bring it back next holiday season, with or without the little interloping ghost man!


Chromatic Nail Powder: A Review


As a reminder that not all nail products are created equal, and that sometimes a completely gimmicky item is just precisely that, I gave a trendy nail product a go today, with regrettably disastrous results.

I had super high hopes for the Mirror Chrome Magic Powder I purchased back in the spring.  I pre-ordered my little pot from Daily Charme, but there are a number of nail supply shops offering their own variations.  If you spend any time hanging around the nail art corners of Instagram, you’ve seen the positively hypnotic videos of nail techs applying this powder.  Functionally, it’s supposed to break down like this – paint your nails to opacity, top with a gel topcoat, let dry/cure, buff Mirror Chrome Magic Powder onto nails with a simple eye shadow applicator, and finally, stand back and be dazzled by your efforts.  The videos I’ve seen show the most pristine chromatic manicures, perfect for the upcoming holiday season.

But this product in practice?  I won’t mince words – it’s garbage.  First, compared to my beloved Seche Vite, gel topcoats are quite terrible.  This one from Sally Hansen bubbled fiercely on its first use and took over half an hour to fully dry.  Ain’t no one got time for that.  Secondly, contrary to the very information given about how to use this product, I don’t believe an air-dry gel topcoat like the one I used will get the job done – I think it’s UV-cured gel topcoats or nothing.  Because this topcoat was no tackier (to the touch) than my regular topcoat.

Because, thirdly and ultimately, the powder would not completely adhere to my nails.  To my skin, to my hair, to my keyboard, to my sofa, to my t-shirt and to my cat, yes, absolutely – all of the above is positively spackled with pixie dust.  But I could not get it to stay on my nails where it supposedly belonged, each feather light – and not so feather light – touch swiping off that which I had somehow managed to pat down before, particularly around the edges of my nails.  It was also next to impossible to photograph, perfect for a nail blogger, of course!


Which raises an interesting question that I had not thought of before now. You’re not to apply topcoat with this powder, either of the gel or regular variety.  So how precisely are you supposed to keep it on your nails for any longer than, say, one two-hour holiday party where you touch nothing and no one and don’t wash your hands?  Even still, your gracious hosts will be finding sparkly, glittery stuff from one end of their home to the other for the next six months – micro glitter gets in your everything.  You’d do just as well to go to the craft store, purchase some fine gauge glitter and sprinkle it over your not-quite-dry nails. Or purchase a proper chromatic polish outright and save yourself a bundle of trouble!

And so I apologize for the lack of pictures of the entire patchy outcome, but there wasn’t much to see – just a nice manicure I otherwise ruined with a product whose cons (or implausibilities) I should have seen coming from a mile away.  Eh, no harm, no foul, but I definitely won’t be jumping on their new holographic powder, that’s for sure.

Frozen Over: A Mini Lush Review

Frozen Bath Bomb Collage

I initially had no idea why this bath bomb from Lush Cosmetics was called a Frozen bath bomb.  Frozen in colour, yes, and theme – and no, it’s not just my Disney-fried brain making the connection here; in the description of this bath bomb on the Lush website, there’s all sorts of references to “Let(ting) It Go” and “enjoying the most magical soak in the kingdom” – but the scent?  I was expecting mint, or something sort of mentholated. This smells like citrus floor cleaner, at times bracing and not altogether natural.

Frozen Bath Bomb Bad Side

So I didn’t enjoy the scent all that much (I actually like very, very few of Lush’s scents) and my poor guy came dented and dinged all to hell and back (which has virtually no bearing on the bath bomb’s performance, although I like it when my pretty bath goodies are actually, you know, pretty) but once it hit the tub, it exceeded my admittedly rather low expectations.

What a stunner!  Erupting into a mass of pale, creamy bubbles, this Frozen bath bomb quickly cracked open, unleashing a torrent of dark turquoise water sprinkled with champagne-hued mica dust.  Once the big show was over and done, an act that took but a few minutes (a pretty average amount of time for a bath bomb to break down) this bomb split into two neat halves, the shimmery little islands spiraling off to different ends of the tub to float among the icy blue, glitter-dusted water.

Frozen Bath Bomb Glittery Water

So the water’s an icy blue and it’s called a Frozen bath bomb – is that all I got for ya?  Well, then, right as I was about to step into the tub, I noticed that the creamy white bubbles floating along the surface of the water had formed themselves into fine swirls around and in between the little trapped clusters of shimmery mica dust. The resulting look is fine skirls of snow drifting across a frozen pond, and it’s so beautiful!  A truly gorgeous effect, those bath time Frozen fjords.

Frozen Bath Bomb Perfect Picture Again

Really one of those bath bombs where the payoff came long after the big show – glad I glanced down before destroying this lovely, unintentional bath art by sticking my foot through it!

Frozen Bath Bomb Perfect Photo

Shame about the scent, though – if the smell of this bath bomb were a bit more in line with its otherwise fantastic themeing, it’d be a solid 10 of a bath product.  $8.95 at Lush.ca, and, as nearly always, vegan-friendly.


Butterfly Garden

Butterflies in the Sun

Oh, dainty little glitter butterflies, you are terrifically cute, but you vex me so.  That I could clip your tiny paper wings, I WOULD, clip ’em good, because they are sticking up everywhere, even after two thick coats of Seche Vite, and snagging on ALL THE THINGS. This is seriously the prettiest, most annoying manicure ever!

Butterflies in the Shade

Happy Valentine’s Day!

VDay Collage 2016

There’s still two hours and 45 minutes left in my time zone on this Valentine’s Day thing, so I thought I’d take a moment to highlight the absolute bounty of pink, red and white manicures I completed in the run-up to the big day.  First thing tomorrow, everyone’s focus will shift to St. Patrick’s Day, so best to get these hearts in while I still can!  Xs and Os to you all – I hope your day was a happy one. 🙂

Dripping in Diamonds (31DC2015)

Dripping in Diamonds Sun

Although I created these gorgeous, shimmery nails for day 17’s theme of glitter in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge, I suppose they’d just as easily work for the upcoming theme of inspired by a song – or two songs, specifically Britney Spears’ I’m a Slave 4 U and Toxic. Remember those glittery nude bodysuits she wore? And the insane round of pearl-clutching her videos set off? WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?! Britney wasn’t ever my favourite, but still, to go back to a simpler time when pop stars would just hint at nudity and not, you know, actually get naked (yes, I’m a total fuddy duddy about that kind of stuff – if you have even an ounce of musical talent, you shouldn’t feel the need to get your tits – and other stuff – out at all hours of the day.) Hmm, although now that I think about it, Britney wore both of those diamond-encrusted nude suits in service of two iconic performances (one stage, one video) – neither was tied to the content of those songs (which, if I recall my Britney correctly, is mostly just a lot of panting, moaning and Auto-Tune.) So I guess we’ll stick with the generic glitter day 17 initially contemplated and leave the music for another day.

These nails were super duper easy, although the glitzy, finished product looks like one of those manis that would cause you to rip out all your hair in frustration. I started by laying down two light coats of Picture Polish’s Cherish, a pale nude creme speckled with holographic shimmer. I then dabbed on a couple of coats of Finger Paints’ Colorful Collage, a silver holographic glitter, right at the base of my cuticles, extending it down ever so slightly in a brushed-on gradient. Then, dolloping out a few dabs of Colorful Collage onto a clean paper towel (you need to get rid of the excess clear base), I picked up the slightly tacky bits of glitter, one at a time, with the pointed end of an orangewood stick before depositing them onto my nails in random, trailing lines. Et voila, dripping diamonds – supposedly a girl’s best friend. 😉

Dripping in Diamonds Bottle

Birthday Bunting (31DC2015)

Birthday Bunting Hand

Not my birthday, and not this blog’s either, although THAT particular two-year milestone will arrive in a couple of days’ time! So I suppose these bright nails festooned with decorative bunting are my way of celebrating a touch early.

Although, actually, this manicure is in service of day 18’s theme of half moons in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge. Half moons and I have a long and storied history of not really liking one another (halving anything on my already size-challenged nails leads to stubbiness), so I thought while I was there, I might as well add some adorable little flags, just to keep things fun and festive.

Rainbow Sprinkle Pick-Me-Up

Fairyland Fingers

I’ve recently taken on a more advanced role in my ailing grandmother’s care – lots of visits, boeuf bourguignon-on-demand, sitting in on medical appointments and the like. Save for her gracious thanks, it’s rather thankless work, and so I look for anything to brighten up our visits. And seeing as my grandmother loves nail polish – said as much today as I was removing her periwinkle blue lacquer – sometimes that brightening takes the form of a fun manicure I can share with her, usually as she cringes in mock horror at the thought of going out in public sporting, like, free-handed donkeys on her nails or whatever other nail lunacy I get up to on a regular basis. Today I thought I was going to shock the heck out of her with these ultra sparkly glitter bomb nails, but she barely batted an eye. In fact, I think she rather liked them. Which just proves that being a nail polish magpie really is genetic! And that maybe the next time I see her, I’ll have to give her the serious Fairyland treatment (although it does take some of the fun out of it knowing that she also thinks it’s a pretty nice pick-me-up polish.) 😉

Fairyland Bottle