Fall Fun Series: Forest Floor

fall-forest-floor-fingers-2

A number of blogger friends participating in the Fall Fun Series live in Florida, which is currently being lashed by Hurricane Matthew.  Being roughly 1,600 miles from the action, there’s little I can do but wish for my friends’ continued safety and a speedy resolution to the storm.  But while they’re all hunkered down, I thought it might be a nice little diversion to take a peek at the softer side of Mother Nature with both this very leafy manicure, and some of the changing leaves I’ve recently spotted around my neighbourhood.  And not for nothing, Florida friends, but when this coming winter rolls around and I’m up to my Canadian eyeballs in freezing rain, you will have it allllll over me!

This simple, sponged-on manicure was a total breeze and so much fun – I love nail art that calls for you to just play around with a whole mess of colours.  It also reminds me of the crisp blanket of multi-coloured leaves that fall to the ground of a maple forest floor.  And nothing more exciting here than red, green, orange and brown polishes randomly sponged over a light tan base and topped with ILNP’s very leafy-looking The Road to Awe multi-chrome flakie.

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But looking up from my nails for half a second, one of the things I’ve really enjoyed about participating in the Fall Fun Series is that it has forced me to stop, slow down and really appreciate the beauty of my surroundings at this time of year.  Living on the bend of a tree-lined river, with the leafy Gatineau Hills visible from every one of my windows, I suffer an embarrassing amount of leaf riches.  And yet, every year when the final burnished leaf hits the ground, I’m surprised that Fall came and went so quickly, and I hardly even noticed its presence. No wonder Ma Nature’s so pissed come wintertime.

But this Fall I’m finding myself present, to use an obnoxious term, in ways I’ve simply not been in years past. And if that comes at the behest of a blogging challenge, well, that’s just fine with me.

I can’t just lay down some lacquered leaves, though, and leave (wah-wah) it at that.  So how about the real deal? Like these leafy trees (against an endless-looking sky) along the Ottawa River that are just beginning to turn.

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Or these vibrant trees edging the parking lot of a local theatre (where I recently watched Bridget Jones’s Baby, which I quite liked.)

leaves-at-the-theatre

Or this tree that stands to the side of a path directly below my balcony.

leafy-tree

There’s so much beauty out there – you just have to pull your head up every now and then and actually enjoy it. Stay safe, and happy Fall, friends.

Eye Spy

Eye Spy 1

This combination of polishes, ILNP’s multi-chromatic flakie topper, Paradox, over Enchanted Polish’s plum holo, January 2015, reminded me so much of the colour and effect of the wallpaper in Disney’s Haunted Mansion, I added some not-so evil eyes just to seal the ghostly deal.  These nails should keep the haunts of the Mansion extra happy, but all the same, keep your eye(s) on this one. 😉

Eye Spy 2

Disney Girl Challenge: Ariel (One More Time)

Ariel Full Hand

Looks like third time’s the charm for these charming Ariel nails that borrow quite a bit from a previous design, while adding some serious infrastructure upgrades in the form of new shells – a couple of nail charms from Daily Charme – for one Miss Mermaid.

I love these nails!  I think this manicure turned out so well, particularly the shells, which started out life as plain white charms that I then painted a holographic purple (Enchanted Polish’s August 2015), highlighted with the same purple multi-chrome I used in Ariel’s tail.  Speaking of, her tail also got a bit of an upgrade – ILNP’s glitter flakie topper, Supernova, over Polish Me Silly’s mermaidy multi-chrome, Paradise, for a scale-type look.

Ariel Fingers

Ariel’s face over on my thumb also looks much improved.  Pupils are the windows to the soul, and everybody should have them, even my little Disney nail characters. 🙂

Blue Belle

Holo Blues Collage

Hey, I made this polish!  Okay, obviously not Mega, the silver ILNP holo. That lacquer is a thing of beauty, and worth every cent of its rather elevated price tag.  But the blue glitter polish?  That’s mine!

One of only a small handful of personal use polishes I made nearly three years ago now, its name is I Blue It, and I was super pleased to see that even after all this time, and despite its DIY DNA, it’s still a pretty awesome lacquer.  A chunky glitter, yes, so a pain in the butt to remove, just like all glitter polishes.  Ain’t nuffin to be done about that.  But I Blue It has maintained its not-too-thick, not-too-thin consistency, and continues to apply smoothly and evenly.  I Blue It’s colour has also remained consistent over the years, the slightly dusky blue jelly base untouched by colour bleed from its white and black glitters. All the props to solvent resistant glitter for that – you can’t make a homemade polish without it.

Holo Blues Bottle Again

And all the props to me for this cute manicure that’s all tied up with a couple of turquoise bows.  I hadn’t planned on doing a second manicure yesterday, but with the sun out in its full, holo-blazing glory and these two polishes next up on deck, how could I not? 🙂

Holo Blues Fingers 1

Sunset Flakies

The Road to Awe Collage

Here’s a simple and striking manicure that’s evocative of the colours in a warm summer sunset, kind of like the ones I am fortunate enough to frequently enjoy from one of my two balconies. Tonight’s sun has very nearly set, but here’s a pretty picture from a couple of weeks ago.  My city enjoys some of North America’s best sunsets; it’s an added bonus that I can just glance out my kitchen window and see this:

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For these nails, I layered ILNP’s The Road to Awe, a green-to-gold-to-fuchsia-to-purple chromatic flakie topper, over KB Shimmer’s Soul Deep, a deep, blue-black creme.

The Road to Awe Fingers

The Road to Awe Bottle

Jello Shot

Jello Shots Collage

Shots!  Shots!  Shots!  Shots, shots, shots!  Shots!  Shots!  Ugh, actually, no, let’s skip the shots – I simply can’t handle that kind of debauchery at my advanced, dinosaur-like age. I learned that the hard way this past Christmas when I met up with some old high school friends and we partied, well, like it was high school (which is to say wantonly, and with very little regard for compatible alcohol flavours – fireball whiskey and champagne totally go together, right?)  I was hungover for about three days afterwards, and even talking about it now is making me feel slightly unwell.  The upside?  There were no jello shots involved that evening.  Had there been (particularly the jello shots I made in university, which were, for real, 50 percent hard alcohol) I probably would have wound up in the hospital.  Egads, my jello shots were pure, fruit-flavoured poison!  There but for the grace of a 19-year-old’s constitution nearly went I and all my friends unfortunate enough to have choked the things back.

Jello Shot Fingers

So having established that I’m a pretty big wuss around alcohol now, you can see why this Jello Shot – another fabulous pick from ILNP, this time a glittery, holographic jelly – is right up my alley.  Jello Shot is the first jelly-type holo I’ve purchased from ILNP, and it’s utterly fantastic.  The formula is spectacular – a rich, glossy jelly that dries down to a smooth, squishy finish in three coats – as is the colour, a sheer, cerise pink glaze sprinkled with holographic micro flakes.  And the things Jello Shot does in the sun?  Incredible!  The term “nail porn” was made for polishes like this one.  Best of all, there are no photography tricks at play here – that bonkers rainbow holo effect is completely unfiltered, because that’s how Jello Shot looks all the time in direct sunlight. So gorgeous! Hmm, and most likely less poisonous than my actual jello shots…

Jello Shot Bottle

I Love ILNP!

Paradox Collage

Clearly, as my last two posts have featured a new-to-me ILNP (I Love Nail Polish) beauty. So here’s another one!

This is Paradox, another pick from ILNP’s Ultra Chrome Flakies Collection, this time with an added dash of holographic pixie dust.  I love the way the colour-shifting flakies – here in an assortment of fuchsia, purple, turquoise, blue and even a bit of gold – catch the light and morph across the whole rainbow spectrum, while the holographic shimmer twinkles prettily in the background.  I will note, however, that the two types of polishes ILNP has combined here – holos and chromatic flakies – are not totally compatible.  Holos always do their best work in the sun, while chromatic polishes like to stick to the shade – betwixt the two, there’s just a whole lot of eye-searing brightness and glare.  But!  The holographic shimmer in this polish is so fine – a true powdery shimmer as opposed to individual bits of micro glitter – it shows through loud and clear, even in indirect lighting, and the flakies are not so CHROME! that they’ll take your head off in the sun.  Now that is a pretty great polish.

Paradox Fingers

The other day a reader asked if these flakies stick up off the nail after the polish has dried down.  No, not a bit. I realize in some of my photos it does indeed look like there’s an edge or two poking up, but as any good blogging lacquerista is probably aware, there’s an odd trick of the light at play here – in photography, glitter polishes, no matter the type, always sort of look like they’re trying to escape from your nails.  But no, completely smooth.  And best of all, unlike foil or iridescent-type flakies, these chromatic flakes remove with all the ease of a creme polish – simply swipe them off with regular polish remover and they’re gone.  Beauty.

Sunny Fingers