Ferris Wheel

Ferris Wheel Collage

Here’s another fabulous polish from ILNP (I Love Nail Polish) to add to my collection of favourite’d flakies, chromatic rainbow flakie polish in overdrive, Ferris Wheel! ILNP’s flakies are pure polish perfection, so I had no doubt that Ferris Wheel would be as great as the handful I already own.  But Ferris Wheel proved to be an unexpectedly wonderful surprise in that its colour-shifting chromatic flakies are scattered as opposed to linear. That means when you tilt the bottle about, the colour-changing rainbow effect comes at you from every individual piece of glitter as opposed to one linear, colour-shifting piece of the whole.

Fabulousness aside, I have no idea why this polish, released during last year’s winter holiday season, is called Ferris Wheel.  All I know is I’m delighted every time I look at it to be reminded of the television show The Goldbergs, which I watch on a semi-regular basis because Barry “Big Tasty” Goldberg, a 17-year-old aspiring rapper/kung fu master/basketball superstar, is my everything, particularly the self-funded music video he made for his breakout R&B sex jam, Ferris Wheel (“Gurl, whatchu doin’ in that sexy hangin’ basket?”)  Heh.

Ferris Wheel Bottle

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I’m in Awe

Awe Collage

Of how beautiful this polish is, I Love Nail Polish’s ridiculously pretty chromatic flakie, The Road to Awe. I own two other ILNP Ultra Chrome Flakies, hot pink-to-green Electric Carnival and purple-to-teal Supernova, and both of them are among my favourite polishes of 2015. The Road to Awe shares a similar formula with EC and Supernova – that is to say, a fabulous one. Chromatic flakies like these don’t stick to your nails the way iridescent shards will, and remove with the ease of a creme polish. You can get these flakie polishes opaque in three coats, too, but I find they take on an almost furry look that I don’t much care for. So I always layer them over a deep and dark creme, preferably black, just like I did here with The Road to Awe, for a sleek look that really highlights the bonkers colour-shift in these gorgeous polishes.

Awe Fingers 1

And what of The Road to Awe’s colour-shift? Bonkers. 😉 And so gorgeous, swinging from violet to vibrant fuchsia, then on to marigold and the barest hints of teal. It reminds me of both the sunrise and the sunset, all at the same time. An especially lovely addition to the Ultra Chrome family of flakie polishes.

Awe Fingers 2

The Big Flake-Out

Electric Carnival CollageThis simple manicure features one of my favourite high impact, low effort nail art techniques, with a bit of a flakie twist. Here I brushed on two coats of a super high shine black polish before topping it with two coats of ILNP’s chromatic flakie, Electric Carnival, in one strip directly down the centre of each nail. I then topped the whole works with one coat of Seche Vite to enrich the shine and deepen all that gorgeous, colour-shifting flakie goodness. Aaaannnndddd that was it, the end! Dead easy, right? I wish I had more to add, but that’s the beauty of this kind of manicure, so let’s not question it too much, okay?!

I will add that ILNP’s flakies provide full coverage in two coats all on their own, although I prefer pairing them with a dark base in this elongating, less-is-more approach. I also like the way darker polishes offset the colour-shifting flakies, throwing off beautiful chromatic rainbows without being ridiculously over the top. Remember, a good manicure means never having to say, “I’m sorry I blinded you with my nails.”Electric Carnival Fingers

Unmasked

Masquerade CollageWell, this polish is just completely lovely, isn’t it? This is Masquerade, one of I Love Nail Polish’s (ILNP) incomparable holographic ultra chromes, a megawatt pink-to-purple-to-green colour-shifter sprinkled with just the tiniest touch of holographic dust. I loveity love love these types of polishes; I always feel like I’m getting more bang for my buck when my polish looks like four different colours at once.

And a quick rummage around my stash confirms that I do indeed love these types of polishes, particularly the lush, jungle-hued colour combo of Masquerade. I actually initially thought this was a dupe of (or being duped by) Polish Me Silly’s mega multichrome, Mystery, a green-to-gold-to-pink stunner, although upon closer inspection, Mystery leans far more green than orchid-hued Masquerade. Masquerade is also quite tempered by its dusting of holo shimmer, an odd little effect that makes this polish look almost heathered, and downright subtle in the sun (a total non-entity in the nail polish world; it’s just a fact that sunlight makes everything look bananas…except apparently this polish!) But really, I love the less-is-more look of Masquerade out in the sun, in the shade or any other way it cares to join my life. I ain’t picky!Masquerade Sun No Sun CollageMasquerade Hand

Finger Candy Favourites: Showstoppers (Part I)

All in photoIn today’s continuing nail art adventures, we turn an eye to the real reason we’re all here – hardcore nudity! Okay, so that’s a favourite Simpsons joke I couldn’t leave well enough alone, but really, we’re here for the good stuff. And in Nailese, that means nail polish, straight up. To that end, here is a compilation of some of my preferred brands, a few favoured products and one exceptional international stocklist. If you’d like to see a list of my favourite individual polishes of 2014, you can find that post here. And now on with the show!

CANDY LACQUERCandy Lacquer photo

Indie retailer Candy Lacquer is the first polish maker I ever placed an order with. That was a year and a half ago, and I’ve gone back a few times since, always emerging a much satisfied customer. Dealing primarily in glitter-stuffed toppers of the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink variety, Candy Lacquer’s polishes are hyper colourful and stunningly unique. And not for nothing, but for a product that basically amounts to miniature bits of paper suspended in varnish, their formulations are excellent – stuffed to the brim with more glittery goodness than a rainbow unicorn, but never dry. Compared to a lot of indies, Candy Lacquer’s online presence is downright small, and if you’re used to other makers’ flashier websites, you might be a bit disappointed by their less-is-more approach to e-tail. Don’t let this put you off. Sometimes – like this time – basic is best. My favourite Candy Lacquer polish – indeed, a favourite polish, period – is Candy Cane Fiesta, a winter holiday release I’ve managed to incorporate into about six seasonally diverse manis. If you’re likewise drawn to Candy Lacquer’s fun, beautifully made polishes, you can find them here.

I LOVE NAIL POLISH (ILNP)ILNP photo

ILNP is a fairly new-to-me polish maker that walks a delicate line between indie and commercial – their gonzo approach to polish design (bigger! glossier! shinier!) suggests an indie maker, but their rock solid production and customer service belies a more commercial sensibility. And the packaging! True, it’s a well known fact I’m a lifelong paper product lover, but I was just insanely charmed by the rainbow hearts and logo-printed tissue paper my order came bundled in. This is the part where some of you might be saying, “You were wowed by tissue paper?” To which I reply, um, yeah, I was. What about it? It’s a lovely little touch that speaks volumes about the care ILNP takes with its business. Which is the business of putting out stunningly gorgeous holos and eyeball-searing multichromes, like these three favoured beauties, chromatic flakies Electric Carnival and Supernova and ultra chrome Masquerade. You can find ILNP’s products, a constantly updated selection of gorgeous, on-trend polishes, here.

PURE ICEPure Ice photo

On this predominantly indie-centric list, Pure Ice, a brand available at Walmart, is the lone commercial standout. And for good reason; their polishes, a whatever’s-on-the-shelf assortment of cremes, shimmers and glitters, are of a quality not normally found in $2 polishes ($1.97, actually.) I own probably 15 different Pure Ice polishes, and have yet to encounter one that’s anything less than OPI, China Glaze or Essie-level quality for just a fraction of the price. In fact, I exclusively use Pure Ice products for my black and white nail polish needs. Like most nail artists, I go through reams of those two colours alone, and it simply makes the kind of sense that doesn’t to pay $8 or more a bottle for these always-in-use basics. The one caveat here is you really are limited to whatever polishes remain on the shelf. My local Walmart restocks frequently, but Pure Ice’s super favourable price point means their products move FAST. If there’s anything specific you think you might like multiple bottles of (say, their black and white polishes) grab a few and stock up while you can.

KB SHIMMERKB Shimmer photo

KB Shimmer, another indie, is one of those polish makers that just quietly goes about its (excellent) business, producing consistently beautiful and unique polishes (and some bath products) with no fuss, no muss. For that reason alone – well-made consistency – KB has more than earned its spot as one of my preferred purveyors of polish. KB’s most popular polishes seem to be their glitter-stuffed crellies (ugh) and jellies, and to be sure, one of my favourite lacquers, period, is Belle of the Mall, a Hawaiian Punch-hued jelly brimming with silver holographic glitter. But their other formulations – mattes, holos and cremes – are likewise fantastic. Their shimmer-infused holographic polishes are particularly lovely, throwing gorgeous linear rainbows and applying like a dream. My one nit to pick with KB Shimmer is that their products are not available directly from their website to international customers. American customers can purchase KB’s polishes directly from their site here, but if you’re an international customer, you can get your KB fix from international stocklist Harlow & Co. here. Speaking of which…

HARLOW & CO.

Closing out this list of besties is the company that has enabled nearly all of it, Harlow & Co.! Harlow & Co. is an online stocklist that carries over 50 harder-to-find brands, from A England to Wicked Polish, and all of it blessedly, gloriously available to international customers. Which in this incredibly rare instance I’m actually not, as both Harlow and I are Canadian! That means free shipping and – best of all – lightning fast turnaround times for said shipping. I frequently receive orders within two days of purchase, three at the very outside. And in one truly remarkable instance last year, my order arrived in one day. I had gone out of town for a couple of days and my order got home before I did! Really, really outstanding customer service, which is an increasingly rare quality in a business, and one that carries with it a tremendous value. I’ll sing the high praises of Harlow & Co. any day because of it (to say nothing of the fact that they keep me in sweet, sweet crack nail polish.) Fifty brands of nail polish are at your fingertips – and hopefully soon ON your fingertips – here.

I initially thought these five companies were the only ones that had captured my polish-lovin’ heart (and wallet), but a quick peek into my beauty tackle box has revealed a number of other favourites I’d be remiss in not pointing out. Things to deal with another day – don’t want to swamp you with too much goodness or anything. 😉 So – one more time for the cheap seats in the back! – TO BE CONTINUED…

Supernova

Supernova CollageYesterday’s post showing off the colour-shifting beauty of I Love Nail Polish’s Electric Carnival proved so popular (“WOWZA” was the general consensus in the comments) I thought I’d come at you today with another beauty from their ultra chrome collection, this time the sublimely peacock-hued Supernova.

Everything great about Electric Carnival thankfully holds true for Supernova – gorgeous colour-shift, smooth, even application, lightning fast removal – although Supernova’s somewhat tone-on-tone (on tone) green-to-turquoise-to-purple-leaning flakies don’t throw off the same insane rainbows as Electric Carnival, a small nit to pick for an otherwise gorgeous polish! Fans of the “mermaid look” will also like this polish – the colour-shift is actually quite Ariel. 🙂Supernova BottleSupernova Hand

Electric Carnival

Electric Carnival CollageAcross the vast, multi-coloured nail polish landscape, Flakie Fever continues its relentless march towards total lacquer domination completely unabated. There’s a flakie polish for seemingly every look, from iridescent, colour-shifting glass shards to of-the-moment metallic multichromes.

Still primarily the domain of the indie polish market (you know how this goes – look for flakies to appear in your favourite commercial lines in about two years’ time) flakies are king, and indie polish manufacturer I Love Nail Polish (ILNP) is producing some of the best.

This is Electric Carnival, a plum-to-gold-to-green “ultra chrome” stuffed with colour-shifting metallic flakies. The colour change in this one is quite pronounced, particularly when layered over black, as I’ve shown here, although you could absolutely build it up to full opacity in two coats on its own. The consistency itself is a touch thick compared to other flakie toppers, with that perhaps being the difference right there – other similar flakies I’ve purchased have been glitter toppers, whereas Electric Carnival is a true full coverage polish. But aside from the gorgeous rainbow effect these polishes produce – Electric Carnival in particular, with its touches of indigo blue at the furthest edge of the spectrum – I think my favourite thing about these metallic flakies is the ease with which they’re removed. Unlike iridescent flakies, which have the aggravating habit of sticking resolutely to your bare nails many days and manicures later, these ultra chrome flakies wipe right off just like a regular creme polish, a time (and sanity) saving advancement in nail polish manufacturing.

Electric Carnival has a lot of gorgeous sisters, I regret to inform your wallets. But if you think you can exercise even an ounce of self-restraint (or not – self-restraint is overrated when it comes to buying polish) you can find ILNP’s gorgeous products here.Electric Carnival BottleElectric Carnival Hand