Here’s a fun dovetailing of two of my favourite interests these days, nail art and hand lettering. I’ve done lettering-type nails before, of course – these Beetlejuice nails from 2016 remain undisputed champions – but not since re-discovering my teenagehood love of calligraphy via Instagram (oh Insta, is there nothing you can’t turn into a new obsession?) After taking a lettering module during grade 9 art class, I got way into calligraphy and other hand lettering, even going so far as to compose my letters to my American pen pal in ornate, looping script (and in a rather dashing bright turquoise ink, no less, a present from my parents, who also supplied me with a gorgeous refillable pen.)
But just lately I’ve been taken with short lettering videos on Instagram; they’ve really reignited the old lettering bug, even if practice makes me feel a bit like I’m auditioning for the Well-Mannered Serial Killer Olympics (Hannibal Lecter is always a contender.)
Anyhow, here I combined a holo-happy gradient with some loopy lettering for a mani that’s really feeling all the Falls. 🙂
So here’s a great example of a manicure that wound up in a very different place than it began. Initially, I was going to cover that candy sweet pink gradient with a dainty rose print, something very English garden. Then I got out my black and white polishes and my dotting tool, and next thing you know, I’ve got the colour and design of a pair of knee high socks I owned in high school (in grade 13 when I was living somewhere near the fashion junction of Clueless and your local patchouli-scented skate shop. Wow, I loved those socks. Funny thing to say about polka dotted hosiery that was actually fairly unflattering, but I did.) 😉 Then I added some silver spike charms up by my cuticles for maximum snagability (no way I’d wear these charms around my precious socks, bitchin’ – oh hey, El! – though they are.)
My interpretation of Lisa Frank styles, extra heavy on the neon rainbow animal prints, which I’d just like to proudly point out were totally free-handed. That’s why I’m not sure if I’ve got a tiger print here or a zebra one. What I am sure of is that I’m ultra super proud of these nails, even if to truly be Lisa Frank-inspired, they need a heck of a lot more unicorn. Funnily enough, I DO have a unicorn nail charm, but it’s gigantic – my bitty little nails can’t handle her girth, and besides, I didn’t want to cover up all this neon animal print goodness. 🙂
Or make it a little bit of both! But that really didn’t fit the fairies’ rhyming scheme in Sleeping Beauty, so they just stopped with pink and blue.
I, however, did not stop with just pink and blue in this manicure (Pure Ice’s frosty pink Peony and Nails Inc.’s cobalt Baker Street, in case you were curious) topping both polishes with Mr. Bubble, a favourite glitter topper from indie polish maker Polish Me Silly that has to be at least five years old now, and I’m just astonished that it’s still in polish-able condition. Glitter-based polishes, particularly those in mini bottles, have a tendency to dry up rather quickly, but this bubbly lovely is still flowing smoothly. Noice!
I cribbed the indigo-over-pink gradient AND the choice of glitter polish from an old Chalkboard Nails manicure that first caught my eye back in – woah, sorry, had to take a moment to contemplate my own mortality there for a sec – 2014. The glittery little bow was my idea, although I’ll add a bow charm to just about any mani I can. Sarah Thompson, the blogger and nail artist behind Chalkboard Nails, is still doing her thing, albeit now over on Instagram. I follow some nail art accounts, and yet I had absolutely no idea that she was still in the mix. Instagram really sucks these days, doesn’t it?
This mani doesn’t suck and I love this colour combination. And three cheers for Mr. Bubble, keepin’ on keepin’ on. 🙂
The universe works in odd ways sometimes. So the last few days I’ve been tending to the deeply unpleasant task of disposing of my recently departed kitty’s few remaining earthly possessions. After her passing last month, we boxed up and packed away many of her things – most of her toys, which still smell like a savage combination of cat breath and nip – while tossing many others (didn’t feel the need to hold on to the litter box; wasn’t too sorry to see that one go.) But a number of items remained, mostly “our” things that she wantonly appropriated for herself, including a plush, pale turquoise blanket that she loved to nest in and knead.
The blanket’s been not-so MIA in the second bedroom for about a month now while I work up the nerve to confront all of the things in our house that do nothing but remind me of her. Turns out that’s a crap ton of stuff, because she ruled our home with a fuzzy paw, and we let her. This entire grieving process has actually been made so much worse by the realization that just about every aspect of our lives revolved around her, including the actual setup of our house.
Anyhow, I haven’t thought about the pale turquoise squashy blanket in a while – or rather, I’ve been trying very hard not to think about it. But the other day, wanting to do some simple nail art, but at a total loss for what to do, I just grabbed the first polish I saw and thought, “I’m doing a gradient with you.” That polish turned out to be Polished For Day’s iridescent aquamarine Willow, and once I had it sponged onto my nails, well, wouldn’t you know it, but it really reminded me of that blanket.
Which was the deciding factor in biting the bullet, doing the brave, unpleasant thing and pulling the blanket out of the second bedroom. It – and we – can’t stay in hiding from this forever. Healing starts with washing the blanket and re-incorporating it into our lives. Heh, that sounds like the title of a self-published self-help book on Amazon – “Healing Begins with Washing the Blanket.” Or the mantra of the cult I plan on founding. We’ll wear pale turquoise blankets wrapped around our shoulders and no shoes, because Weegie couldn’t wear them and she thought they sucked. We’ll also always sport fantastic manicures.
See, sense of humour beginning to right itself; the Healing Blanket has worked its magic already. 🙂
I’d like to pretend that the diminishing gradient-within-a-gradient thing I’ve got going on here was on purpose (my pinkie represents a freshly-layered ombre latte, whereas my index finger is said latte after a few minutes’ rest?) but it was not. It’s always such a pain when the coolest effects come about completely unintentionally!
This manicure reminds me of this nitro-brewed concoction Mr. Finger Candy ordered at a Starbucks Reserve the other day (AKA Super Pretentious Starbucks with Rough Hewn, Wood Grain bars and a Wine List.) It had a creamy, gently churning top layer that looked just like the head on a pint of Guinness (also a husband favourite; my man likes his coffee and his beer hella STRONG.) It was pretty cool – he said the cold brew technique really brought out those notes in the coffee (citrus, caramel, etc.) that none of us can normally detect – but perhaps nothing that needs to be repeated on a daily basis (she says now; wait until the day he’s lugging home canisters of combustible gases so we can nitro our coffee from the comfort of our very own (pre-explosion) kitchen!)
For all my friends longing for – or on the cusp of – a nice, relaxing beach day. Me, I don’t do beaches. Me + sun = crispy red lobster, so I tend to abstain. I’m also totally that pooh that sits there in a long-sleeved rash guard, sarong, wide-brimmed hat and SPF 70, fussily rotating the beach umbrella into the shade every 23 and a half minutes.
So no actual beaches for me! But I’m quite content with this very beachy manicure, which utilizes a new-to-me technique, water spotting. In water spotting, you drop a few polish droplets onto the surface of water (here a basic white creme to mimic the sudsy surf rushing ashore a sandy beach.) Then taking a spray perfume or cologne, spritz onto the surface of the polish, creating a semi-transparent, lacy effect like the rushing surf. Then you dip your painted nails into the polish as you would with a water marble manicure. And since no shoreline would be complete without at least a few seashells and starfish, I added a few of those, too. Surf’s up!
We’re sailing in uncharted (frozen) waters here, friends, as these nails represent the first time in over 1,500 manicures (whaaa?) that I’ve not fully painted my nails to opacity, opting instead to go The Full Nail Monty! Or The Partial Nail Monty, as there’s some edge-of-the-nail accessorizing at work here in the form of Sally Hansen’s very frosty-looking Gem Crush in Showgirl Chic. Simple and elegant frozen fabulousness.
Because there’s something sort of sinister about these creeping green tendrils over a black-and-red gradient. I think Miss Ivy would approve.
Sure, we’ll call these many-pink’d dots petals. Rose petals, if you want to get technical, even. 🙂