Yosemite Sandra

Yosemite Sandra 1

Before I get to the part where I explain that this is a mani done in the style of the granite that makes up El Capitan in Yosemite National Park – that random enough for ya?! – have you guys seen The Dawn Wall or Free Solo?  They’re documentaries ostensibly about rock climbers – with all the gut-churning, straight-down photography your frayed nerves can handle – though really they’re examinations of man’s own relationship to man, nature and the very universe itself.  It’s real triumph of the human spirit sort of stuff.  With a higher than usual chance of watching said human plummet to their death off the side of a gigantic geological feature.  Super lightweight stuff!

And I’ve been obsessed all summer long.  The Dawn Wall, a Netflix release, follows professional climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson as they scale the infamous Dawn Wall of El Capitan in Yosemite.  Spend the summer low-grade haunting the online rock climbing world and you too will come to learn that what Caldwell and Jorgeson do – or did; The Dawn Wall was filmed in 2015 – is called free climbing, meaning they use ropes and clips and a buddy belay system, all necessary things when you’re attempting to scale 3,000 feet of one of the world’s most intimidating rock formations.  Beset by crap weather, unexpected media attention, a mid-point bitch of a pitch that just refused to be bested and their own considerable demons (early on in his career, Caldwell and some teammates were taken hostage whilst climbing in Kyrgystan; upon returning home, he lost most of his left index finger – one of those crucial bits of anatomy if you’re a rock climber – to a table saw) it took the pair 19 days to summit El Cap, much of it spent pinned to the side of the Dawn Wall in frighteningly flimsy-looking tents.

Free Solo, a National Geographic movie and winner of 2019’s Best Documentary Feature Oscar, follows professional climber Alex Honnold as he also attempts to scale El Capitan, this time in 2017 whilst following a slightly less vertiginous route than the one set by Caldwell and Jorgeson, but without the benefit of ropes, clips or a buddy.  That’s what makes Honnold a “free soloist” – he’s free of a rope and climbing solo.  I haven’t actually seen Free Solo yet, but I’ve watched a terrific number of videos of Honnold – a really funny, bright and articulate guy – talking about his sport, his charitable efforts, his diet, lifestyle and drive.

Yosemite Sandra 3

It’s all utterly terrifying – anti-social tunnel vision taken to its most extreme limits – and yet also completely compelling.  If I wasn’t opposed to living destitute out of a 1991 Dodge Caravan, or partaking in any activity many thousands of feet off the ground that will surely lead to my death, or if I had any aptitude whatsoever in the area of climbing or outdoor sportery, this would be quite attractive to alt-world me.  Me-me is hiding under a blanket on her couch (me-me also attempted to hang from her fingertips off the kitchen door frame the other day, in imitation of a climbing training exercise.  Probably don’t need to explicitly point out that it didn’t go very well!)  It also goes without saying that both of these films are about 1,000 percent easier to hack as a viewer once you know that all parties involved achieved their goals and are now safely on the ground.  Oh, who am I kidding – all of these guys got back to climbing just as quickly as they could, and are probably out there right now, spidering across the face of some 2000-foot-tall granite monolith, scouting handholds and footholds and plotting their next record-breaking ascent.

Yosemite Sandra 2

Anyhow, using that ultra easy, brushed-on polish technique I keep promising a tutorial on, I painted this manicure that looks like the granite walls of El Cap.  Apparently it’s a total bitch to climb, something I’m really going to have to take their word on!  It’s also a very pretty type of stone, burnished orange in hue and streaked with black fissures.  I tried to capture all of that here, using a mess of KB Shimmer holographic polishes, including bronzed terracotta, Men Are From Mars-ala, burnished orange, Rust No One, and chocolate brown Oh My Ganache.  I then added in those veins of black using Lilypad Lacquer’s Rainbows in Space.  I really like how the holographic polishes mimic the glittery look of granite.  I bet when the sun hits it just right, the whole rock face twinkles.

Yosemite Sandra 4

Really lovely, and so long as I don’t rip my arms off trying to hang from my kitchen door frame, it’s a look I’m absolutely going to try again.

Those Summer Nights

Those Summer Nights 2

These nails are very 1980s inspired, no?  Must be all that Stranger Things I, and everyone else with a television, have been watching (40 mil viewers, Netflix, really?!)  Actually, the reason this manicure is so rad is because it was inspired by the 1980s-themed event my husband’s been playing in Rocket League, an RC car-meets-goal…sports…game?  All I know is I’m rather confused, and yet delighted, when I watch him motor a small replica Ecto 1 with striped sunset wheels down an underwater arena playing field in order to bury a hockey puck in a net that will explode in Michael Bay-worthy pyrotechnics.  Now, THAT’S a video game!

Also, yes, totally the inspiration for these nails, which I did using a quintet of Enchanted Polish holographics, including House of the Rising Sun (yellow), Desert Sunset (orange), Dope Jam (pink), and two mystery polishes from 2015, November (magenta) and January (dark purple.)  Extra super pretty as against the actual sunset this warm – SO warm – summer night.

Those Summer Nights 1

Suit Up

Suit Up 1

This striping tape-assisted manicure reminds me of pinstriped suiting fabric, set on a slant and shot through with holographic rainbows.  So a textile perhaps for the very confident gentleman?  Or no man whatsoever right now, since the summer weather is hot as balls, and I pity the guy who has to wear a suit in this.

Suit Up 2

Speaking of balls, this favourite Colour Club holo has a fun name – Crystal Baller.  But owing to its hue, I just look at it and think it should be called Blue Baller.  Because I am a pervert and deeply juvenile. 😉  But it’s ever so pretty, is it not?  One of those polishes I always reach for when the sun is out at full blast, and boy howdy, is it ever.  Stay made in the shade, pretty peeps.

Suit Up 3

Fallish Polish

Fallish Polish Collage

Hello there, friends, just kicking off the work week with a handful of autumn-appropriate polishes, holos tout and perfect for all of your Fall manicure needs.  Let’s take a closer peek at these leafy-looking lovelies, shall we?

Fall 1

It’s the incredibly rare tree whose leaves turn this devastatingly sexy shade of candy apple red – possibly a sumac, they’re utterly gorgeous at this time of year.  This is Different Dimension‘s Naughty, a beautiful Christmas polish that I think does double duty as a classic Fall hue (possibly even triple duty if you factor in Valentine’s Day!)

Next up, we have one of my favourite polishes, period, no matter the time of year, KB Shimmer‘s perfectly pumpkiny Rust No One.  The holo effect with this one is quite pronounced, and I love that bright purple flash running up the center of the bottle – it makes Rust No One look like about three differently hued polishes all at once.

In third place, we have the only yellow holo I own, which of course means it always shows up in round-up posts, even though I’m really not that fond of it because while it’s quite beautiful in the sun, it looks like metallic urine in lower lighting conditions, which is rather unfortunate, and wow, that was one heck of a run-on sentence.  Oh, sorry, this is Enchanted Polish‘s House of the Rising Sun. 😉

Next up we have another one of my favourite polishes, Enchanted Polish’s Lost Boy.  This megawatt super stainer (for all that’s good and not dyed lurid, neon yellow, use this polish with two, even three layers of base coat) doesn’t look like very many leaves at this time of year (they’ve really lost this kind of vivid, fresh green) but there’s still a few clinging to their hues of brighter, sunnier days.

Second from last we have KB Shimmer’s Men Are From Mars-ala, a rich, reddish brown holo that looks like so many wonderful things in the Fall – crunchy leaves, scrumptious baked goods, the final inch of a delicious pumpkin spice latte.  It also looks like the entirety of 1990s beauty in a bottle (brown, kids, there was SO. MUCH. BROWN.)

Finally, we have yet another KB Shimmer polish, brownie-hued Oh My Ganache!  Mmm, brownies…also the raggedy edges of crispy, crunchy leaves.

Purple Haze

Hazy Holo 1

Never actually been into Hendrix (so random, very tiresome) but I am into these nails, which technique-wise, are way outside my usual.  In that there is an identifiable technique at work here – two of them, actually, sponging and striping tape – instead of my usual free-handed approach.  I like the precision, even if I think there needs to be more of those cool holo-striped beams.  And perhaps a change in colour, something a bit more vibrant that won’t merge quite so seamlessly with the silver base polish I used here, ILNP’s ultra holographic Mega.)  Maybe pink?  You know, like the long lost Jimi Hendrix song, Pink Haze. 😉

Rainbow Blaster

Rainbow Holo Collage 1

Kicking off the penultimate day of the work week with this colourful assortment of holographic polishes culled from my collection of “Why don’t I wear this more often?” lacquers.  Okay, sure, fun, but why?  Well, because the end of the week is dawning overcast and grumpy and I think we could all use something to cheer us up as we head into the weekend.  Also, do I not own all of these beautiful polishes precisely so I can actually wear them?  Fat load of good they do sitting in storage, waiting for that perfect nail art inspiration – why not simply because it’s a day ending in Y?  Yes, why not indeed!  So let’s take a closer look at some of my favourite holographic polishes across the entire rainbow spectrum, shall we?

Rainbow Collage 3 Red

Starting off with my favourite, we have Different Dimension’s luscious red Naughty.  Most red lacquers – particularly holos, of which there are actually precious few – tend to err toward the vampy side of the beauty spectrum.  But Naughty is the most perfect shade of clear, candy apple red.  It’s polish perfection.

Rainbow Holo Collage 4 Orange

Next up we have KB Shimmer’s orange Rust No One.  This polish is a real chameleon, flashing between a deep, rusty peach, a warm pumpkin and a vibrant tangerine with each shift of your hand.  And apparently I might be in the mood for a a big old lunchtime fruit plate? 😉

Rainbow Holo Collage 5 Yellow

Following orange we have Enchanted Polish’s yellow House of the Rising Sun.  I actually wouldn’t call House one of my favourite polishes; it’s here because it’s the only yellow holo I own!  I don’t care for this polish in the shade – it contains a weird silvery shimmer that tints the entire bottle a sickly shade of yellow-green urine.  Yeah, I know, super attractive!  But under direct light, it’s a lot closer to its namesake – like the first warm rays of light to burn across the sky on a hot summer day.  I’d even call it beautiful.  But heaven help you if the sun goes behind a cloud, it’s just Pee City.

Rainbow Holo Collage 6 Green

Next up we have another favourite of the favourites, Enchanted Polish’s grass green Lost Boy.  This lacquer is so, so beautiful – look at that bonkers holo effect! – but oof, she STAINS.  Vibrant, dark green polishes nearly always do, and Lost Boy is no exception.  Always brush on a layer or two of a high quality base coat when painting your nails with a green polish, lest you spend the next four months running around with talons tinted the exact same shade as that aforementioned urine. 😦

Rainbow Holo Collage 7 Turquoise

This polish, A England’s turquoise Whispering Waves, feels like an addition I made to the already well-established rainbow structure, but I just couldn’t leave it out.  It may be caught somewhere between blue and green (and a little bit of purple as well, I see) but there’s space enough for it between the two.  This polish is such a stunner and, again, with its blue-green hue, quite the stainer.  Base coat ‘er up.

Rainbow Holo Collage 8 Blue

Next we have my splashiest, most rainbow-throwin’ polish, Color Club’s blue Crystal Baller.  I always want to call this polish Blue Baller, but that’s just me – kind of perverted that way.

Rainbow Holo Collage 10 Purple

In the second-to-last spot we have Enchanted Polish’s purple mystery lacquer from April 2017.  Holos often don’t present very well as against a pastel base, but April 2017 is the sweet exception – I think it looks like sparkly clouds of cotton candy.

Rainbow Holo Collage 11 Pink

And finally, we have Cirque’s popsicle-hued, freesia-scented pink, Powwow.  I had actually forgotten that this polish (all of Cirque’s polishes, actually) smells like freesia.  Fresh freesias are one of my favourite flowers – I just want to devour that scent, it’s so friggin’ intoxicating!  But huffing your nails all day long is just plain weird, so I’ll content myself with staring at them instead.  Like its scent, I forgot how pretty Powwow is.  It reminds me of a melty cherry popsicle (what thing doesn’t remind me of food in some way?!)

Rainbow Holo Collage 2

And so there we have it, a pleasant passel of polishes to perk up your precipitation-filled, uh, day (sorry, no P words to denote the concept of a day, my linguistics bad.) 🙂

Unicorn Dreams

Unicorn Schvitz Collage

To paraphrase Ed Helms’ little tiger-centric ditty in The Hangover, what do unicorns dream of, when they take their little unicorn snooze?  Do they dream of impaling idiots in expensive Etsy unicorn headbands, or even bigger idiots at Coachella in some holographic catsuits?

Okay, so I think the whole unicorn thing is a little played out.  I particularly dislike any of the numerous indie bath and beauty products named after any bodily function or fluid of a unicorn.  Seriously, that’s so gross, stop giving your products such off-putting names.

Still, slight diatribe aside, it’s the best descriptor I have for this polish, Liquid Sky Lacquer’s Dream – unicorn-y.  Just look at that rainbow flare!  And the tiny blue flakes and the micro shimmer, and the almost neon-looking holographic effect, too.

I love this polish so much, and I just had to dig it out of “Why don’t I wear this more often?” storage yesterday to take advantage of the dazzlingly bright sun and clear blue skies.  Because this was the weather we were experiencing here about a day and a half ago – total whiteout.  You know, just your standard, bitchingly lame springtime blizzard.  As you do.

And then today’s afternoon forecast is calling for more of the snowy same, only hopefully this time ever so slightly less fierce and roof-rippingly intense.  So good thing I got all these rainbow unicorn sparkles in while I could. 🙂

Unicorn Schvitz Bottle 2