Smurf Genome

Wuh oh, now we’re into the chromosomal make-up of a Smurf, and apparently they glow in the dark! Can’t say I remember that from the Smurfs’ adventures with Gargamel and Azrael (“adventures” being the most politically correct way of saying their entire lives were devoted to not being genocidally wiped out by a bi-polar, misshapen baldy and his raggedy cat.)

But I digress!  This is Polish Molish’s Smurf Genome, another lacquer I nabbed during Polish Pickup‘s September release.  And it would seem that much like the polish I highlighted yesterday – Nailed It’s magnetic Neural Network – and then the one the day before that – Different Dimension’s likewise magnetic It’s Electrifying – Smurf Genome is what I call a gimmick polish, or something beyond the standard, be it magnetic, thermal (one of those coming in a day or two), fluid art (ditto) or glow-in-the-dark.

And boy howdy, do these Smurfs ever glow in the dark!  The glow power, if you will, in this polish is STRONG – just the kickback off your phone screen will be enough to fire up your falanges. 😉  And the polish au naturel is darn pretty too, featuring a vibrant, blue jelly base positively stuffed with red hex and iridescent shard glitter.  Beautiful, and a fun polish to add to my collection.

Party Polish!


This terrifically fun lacquer, Painted Polish’s Aurora, is all about the festive fete, and I’M all about its party-in-a-bottle assortment of pink, yellow, blue and silver micro glitter.  I particularly love the way the semi-translucent glass-type glitters layer upon each other to create purple from the pink and blue, orange from the yellow and pink and green from the blue and yellow.  It’s such a super cool effect – accidental rainbows! – made sparkly through the addition of silver holographic glitter.  All the better to get yer party unicorn on!


And when the lights go down, Aurora will still have your back, because this polish also glows in the dark!


Formula-wise, this polish applied nicely.  Micro glitters are always a bit tricky, as they tend to clump more readily than other types of glitter, but Aurora was neither too thick, nor too thin, and applied to full opacity in four careful coats.  Texture?  There’s some. Enough that you should use a thick topcoat like Seche Vite as opposed to the doesn’t-even-have-a-name emergency topcoat I used today – no name just sank into the polish, leaving it with a smoothly textured kind of finish that in the name of my hosiery and skin, I’d really prefer to have completely sealed up.

But issues in topcoat choice aside, Aurora is a wonderful lacquer, and another super fun pick from Painted Polish.  I’m looking forward to seeing what my third gifted bottle brings.


Skeletons in the Closet


Like, say, these skeleton nail strips from Incoco that have been sitting in my closet for the past three years? Pretty sure those aren’t the kind of skeletons the expression is referring to, but I’ll take potentially-useless nail strips over repressed secrets any day. 😉

But somehow, wonder of wonders, these nail strips were still in perfect condition, applying cleanly and easily, adhering well and giving off the craziest glow-in-the-dark effect I’ve ever seen in a polish product.  Praise Jack, it’s a Halloween miracle!

This design, long since out of production, is called Bone Rattling, and features cute little black skulls on a glow-in-the-dark white background.  And I needn’t have worried that these nail strips would be dried out – safely tucked away in their unopened package, they were in perfect working order, adhering to my nails neatly, with no rough or raggedy edges.  The chubby, three-toothed skull design is also so adorable – a cute alternative to the more realistic skull designs that tend to dominate at this time of year.


And how about that super cool glow-in-the-dark effect?  It’s bananas!  So bananas, my camera could hardly capture it.  Or maybe it captured…something else?  Those little streaks sure do look like ghosties, do they not? Although, actually, that would mean my hand is haunted, and that never works out well for anyone – just ask Ash (or Anton of Idle Hands, my favourite possessed-limb flick.)


Attack the Block (31DC2015)

Attack the Block Collage

NO ONE f**ks with The Block, ya hear? Oh my gosh, you guys, I loveity love love Attack the Block, a British creature feature released in 2011 to tons of critical acclaim and regrettably little fanfare. Starring a bunch of foul mouthed and nearly unintelligible kids you’ve never heard of (excepting John Boyega, who is probably best known these days as “the black Stormtrooper” from the new Star Wars films), Attack chronicles one chaotic night in one of London’s most impoverished and dangerous East End neighbourhoods and the mini gangbangers who rule its streets. Or ruled – the power structure that governs the cluster of low income towers known as The Block gets upended mightily one night when aliens descend and the boys go on the defensive.

Oh man, and the aliens themselves are SOOOOO well done. I respect the crap out of practical special effects in film, and but for a little CGI polish, the eyeless, loping, needle-toothed, alien-gorilla-wolf-motherf**kers are 100 percent dude-in-a-suit, and I freaking LOVE IT. So when day 23’s theme in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge called for nails inspired by a movie, I decided to get my own brand of practical effect on and honoured the B-L-O-C-K (*brruup brruup!*) with these nails that, like the movie monsters that inspired them, have actual blue, glow-in-the-dark teeth. I am so proud of this perfect little touch, I wanna tool up, grab my bangers and hit Ron’s weed room. 😉 Or perhaps I’ll settle for another viewing – it’s been a while. A small note for newbies, though: Turn on the subtitles. Unless you speak degenerate East End shithead, you’ll be lost.




Although there are a number of students already back at school, the usual signifier of the end of summer, it is still very much leisure time around my neck of the global woods, where the kids won’t start classes for another week and a half. Fall is still a ways off, and if today’s humidity is any indication, Winter Isn’t Coming either, at least for another couple of months. Still, you’d never know it, based on the Halloween displays that have already appeared at various retail establishments, and the flood of “I’m the Queen of Halloween!” posts that have popped up all over Instagram (as if owning 350 Halloween-themed hand soaps from Bath and Body Works makes you the queen of anything except hoarding.)

I’m generally not a fan of out-of-season “holiday creep,” which makes this mani featuring two Halloween-themed China Glaze polishes that much more exceptional. But I recognize that bloggers and lacqueristas need to plan ahead, particularly during those times of the year when there’s a run on holiday-themed items, and so I thought I’d showcase at least two of this year’s Halloween polishes, a smidge on the early side.


For these fun, splattered nails, I used a trio of China Glaze polishes. I started with a base of Re-Fresh Mint, a celery-hued creme, topped with one coat of Ghoulish Glow, a glow-in-the-dark topper sold every Halloween. Before I go on, a quick word about Ghoulish Glow: It behaves very oddly. I purchased my bottle two years ago and have used it maybe five times. People who paint their nails all the time know you can hold on to a bottle for 10 years or more if you don’t use it all that often – it’s the opening and closing and contact with oils and dirt on your nails that ultimately does a polish in. Absent that interaction, a lacquer can last just about forever. Which should have been the case with Ghoulish Glow. Yet somehow, over two years of non-use, sitting upright in a dark, cool storage box, my bottle of Ghoulish Glow has depleted by about 75 percent. It has also nearly entirely lost its glow effect, which was not that strong to begin with, and if you use a topcoat, like I did with this manicure, it won’t glow at all. But I’m always hopeful that my polish mis-steps will have somehow magically righted themselves from the last botched attempt, and so I thought I’d give Ghoulish Glow another shot. It will not be a repeat purchase.


I then topped those two polishes with one coat of Ghostess with the Mostess, a purple, green, orange and black glitter topper from this year’s Ghouls’ Night Out Collection. Ghostess is pretty awesome, a not-too-vibrant collection of differently sized matte hexes in Halloween’s most popular colours. Spooky…here at the end of the summer. 😉


Pink Bubbles

Pink Bubbles HandA beautiful Saturday like the one I’m enjoying demands a favourite manicure, a simple but eye-catching combination of a fun, (glow-in-the-dark!) base polish and a cute matte glitter topper. No fuss, no muss, and we’re all out the door in a flash and on our way to better weekend things.

For these nails, I topped three coats of Serum No. 5’s glow-in-the-dark Awesome Blossom with one coat of Polish Me Silly’s pink, blue and white glitter topper, Mr. Bubble. I’ve used Awesome Blossom as a base in more manicures than I can count, although when it comes to its glow-in-the-darkiness, it has never thrown off more light than a watery, pastel violet. A bit of a disappointment there. But separate and apart from the glow-in-the-dark gimmick, Awesome Blossom really lives up to its name, providing a beautiful background for a wide variety of glitter polishes and more intricate nail art. Colour-wise, these photos actually do not show Awesome Blossom in its full, in-real-life, ELECTRIC NEON PINK glory. I mean, it’s super, super bright – a true pastel neon pink. It’ll burn the eyeballs straight out your skull if you stare at it too long. Although probably not. 😉Pink Bubbles Bottle

Here’s what I was talking about with that glow-in-the-dark thing. These photos show the glow as a dark blue, but I assure you, in real life it’s lilac. Colour-matching blues/purples/greens in photography, how you vex me so!Pink Bubbles Glow Hand

Marathon Mani

Dotted HandI started this simple (glow in the dark!) manicure last night, getting all the way to the topcoat stage before deciding I actually didn’t particularly care for it. The colours I had chosen – neon-y orange, green and turquoise on a baby blue base – were just not gelling. But instead of blighting it from the earth with acetone, as is my usual, frustrated practice, I slept on it, and woke up with crease marks hither and yon. Then I went out to run some errands, and somewhere between coffee and groceries and home again, this manicure really started to grow on me, in no small part because the extra sunny day my city is enjoying is making the glow-in-the-dark base polish I used here, Serum No. 5’s Blue Blazes, FINALLY live up to its name. So I came home, dusted off any accumulated scone crumbs and slapped on a coat of crease-eradicating, high shine Seche Vite, frankly amazed that it had survived as well as it had (through seven hours of sleep and a morning filled with errands, no less) without a protective layer of topcoat. Truly, these are some nails with staying power. Which I suppose is a good thing, as in the end, I think I quite like this mani. And hey, it only took 14 hours from start to finish, which is not ridiculous at all. 😉Blue Blazes Collage

I’m All Ears

All Ears HandI’ve just noticed that I have featured a lot of blue polish-based manicures on the blog as of late. This runs contrary to my general nail art MO, which is to dabble a bit across the entire rainbow spectrum, never lingering too long on any one hue. But I guess I’ve been feeling the blue lately (as opposed to just plain old feeling blue) because here’s another one!All Ears Bottle

It looks like Mickey’s got his head in the clouds again with this mani, where I brushed on one coat of All Ears, a Mickey glitter-studded polish from Whimsical Ideas by Pam, over a background of fluffy white clouds in a blue (and glow in the dark) sky. All Ears is lovely and classic Mickey – tiny red, white and yellow matte hexes make up the bulk of the glitter mix, but the Mickey heads are plentiful and not the least bit difficult to capture on the brush – and the blue background polish is a favourite of mine, Serum No. 5’s Blue Blazes, a sky blue creme that glows electric neon turquoise. Here’s the best shot of Blue Blazes in action I’ve ever taken, which is still not saying much, but we’re getting better!Glow in the Dark Mickey

Half Moon Holo

Half Moon Holo BottleThis polish, Lac Attack’s APWBD from the Harry Potter collection, is beyond cool and so well themed to its character inspiration, Albus (Percival Wulfric Brian) Dumbledore. Between the little half moon glittery bits, which evoke the headmaster’s twinkling bifocals, to the almost celestial mix of soft, ethereal colours (I seem to recall Dumbledore swanning around Hogwarts in his favourite lavender robes), to its unexpected glow-in-the-dark finish (Dumbledore is nothing if not a man of surprises), this polish has the Headmaster of Hogwarts’ name allllll over it. Literally!

I’ve tried APWBD over white before with some success, and over a more thematically-appropriate silver and turquoise gradient with even more, but until now, never over black (or very, very dark navy, as the case may be.) Which is a shame, because even with the slightly hazy finish the glow-in-the-dark pigment imparts when layered over darker colours, it really makes the glitter pop, giving this mani a pretty, sparkling night sky kind of look that wouldn’t be the least bit out of place decorating the enchanted ceiling in Hogwarts’ famed Great Hall.Half Moon Holo Hand

Metallic Moon

Metallic Moon

It’s sort of a shame I had to cover up the metallic-on-metallic gradient under this glitter, Lac Attack’s APWBD, because gradients and I typically do not get on so well, and this one is unusually slammin’. I think it’s the doing of the base polish I used here, Essence’s Icy Princess, a wonderful-to-apply silver foil that seems to very nearly repel the polish sponged on top of it so you – and by you I mean me – can’t ruin your gradient by painting a giant globby bit straight into the middle of each nail like you – again, me – nearly ALWAYS do!

But cover it up, I did, with APWBD, a Harry Potter-inspired glitter topper from Lac Attack. It’s a beautiful polish whose sparkling glitters – silver and blue holo moons, purple squares and an assortment of rainbow holo bars and hexes – are set off by its lightly lime-tinted, glow in the dark base. It’s a super fun polish befitting both the Headmaster of Hogwarts (the APWBD stands for Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore) AND my first genuinely awesome gradient!